Eutectic mixture of lidocaine and prilocaine versus 1% lidocaine injection for lumbar punctures in pediatric oncology patients.

Document Type


Publication Date



BACKGROUND: The role of local analgesics for lumbar punctures (LPs) in pediatric oncology patients has not been specifically studied.

AIM: To compare the efficacy of eutectic mixture of local anesthetics (EMLA) cream to 1% lidocaine injection for LPs.

METHOD: This was a retrospective observational study of all patients receiving either EMLA cream (EMLA group) or 1% lidocaine subcutaneous injection (lidocaine group) in addition to fentanyl and propofol for LPs over 18 months. Demographics, vital parameters, procedural and recovery times, propofol and fentanyl doses, and adverse events were studied.

RESULTS: Two hundred ninety LPs in 49 children were studied: 148 in the EMLA group and 142 in the lidocaine group. There was no difference in demographics or preprocedural parameters between the two groups. LPs in the EMLA group were completed in a shorter time (7.5 minutes [CI 7.0-8.1] vs 9.4 minutes [CI 8.9-9.9]) with a faster recovery time (38.7 minutes [CI 36.9-40.9] vs 43.9 minutes. [CI 41.9-45.9]) as compared with the lidocaine group (P < 0.001). The EMLA group required less maintenance doses (0.54 mg/kg [CI 0.47-0.62] vs 1.14 mg/kg [CI 1.06-1.21]) and total doses (2.58 mg/kg [CI 2.42-2.75] vs 3.12 mg/kg [CI 2.95-3.29]) of propofol as compared with the lidocaine group (P < 0.0001). Adverse events in the EMLA group were less (19% vs 41%) as compared with the lidocaine group (P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: The addition of EMLA cream for procedural sedation for LPs in pediatric oncology patients significantly improves pain management in comparison with 1% lidocaine injection.

Publication Title

Pediatric blood & cancer







First Page


Last Page