Response of intraocular pressure to retrobulbar and peribulbar anesthesia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Ophthalmic Surgery and Lasers






BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the response of intraocular pressure (IOP) to retrobulbar and peribulbar anesthesia. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were prospectively masked and randomized to receive either 4 cc of retrobulbar anesthesia (X = 29) or 6 cc of peribulbar anesthesia (X = 30), each consisting of a 50:50 mixture of 2% xylocaine and 0.75% bupivacaine with 150 units of hyaluronidase. IOPs were measured pre-anesthesia and 1, 2, and 5 minutes postanesthesia in nonglaucoma patients undergoing cataract extraction and intraocular lens implantation. RESULTS: Mean lOPs in the retrobulbar group as determined with a tonometer were 18.24, 18.66, 19.14, and 17.86 mm Hg pre-anesthesia and 1, 2, and 5 minutes post-anesthesia, respectively. In the peribulbar group, the mean IOPs were 18.53, 21.20, 20.40, and 19.20 mm Hg, respectively. The 1-minute pressures in the two groups were statistically different (P = .023). Within the peribulbar group, the 1- and 2-minute pressures were statistically different from the pre- anesthesia IOP (P = .001 and P = .018, respectively). CONCLUSION: Peribulbar anesthesia, with its higher volume of anesthetic (6 vs 4 cc), results in a higher initial IOP. This difference was slight and short lived, and occurred in the absence of any external ocular compression. This study may have application in avoiding elevation of lOP in select patients undergoing a local procedure.

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