Methaemoglobinemia after Liposuction under Tumescent Local Anaesthesia - Diagnostic Value of Pulse Oximetry

Sebastian Brandt, Oliver Kimberger, Benjamin Weber, Anne Klose, Swetlana Stockmann, Wilfried Schmeller, Hartmut Gehring, Patrick Kellner


    BACKGROUND: Tumescent local anaesthesia with prilocain can lead to clinically significant methemoglobin levels. New generation multiple wavelength pulse oximeters (e. g. Masimo Radical 7®) can measure methemoglobin levels.

    METHODS: In this prospective observational study we compared the venous methemoglobin levels and the corresponding pulse oximetric values of the Radical 7® in patients undergoing tumescent local anaesthesia for liposuction procedures. The measurements were performed in Hanseklinik, Luebeck, Germany between 2008 and 2011.

    RESULTS: In 133 patients, we measured a maximum methemoglobin level of 18 per cent. In a Bland-Altman analysis we found a mean bias of +2.2 % (-4.1 to 8.4 limits of agreement) for pulse oximetric values compared to hemoximetry.

    CONCLUSION: Pulse oximetric measurement of methemoglobin is an early-warning tool for the detection of clinically significant methaemoglobinemia in patients with tumescent local anaesthesia.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWorld journal of plastic surgery
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)111-116
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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