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  1. Hockett, Deborah BSN, RN
  2. Kress, Laura MAS, MSN, RN
  3. Mac Donald, Ryan PhD
  4. Krenzischek, Dina A. PhD, RN, CPAN, CFRE, FAAN, FASPAN
  5. Maheshwari, Anurag MD


The aim of this research study was to evaluate the effectiveness of lidocaine versus lidocaine with sodium bicarbonate in reducing anxiety and pain, using visual analog scales, in subjects receiving local anesthetic during liver biopsies. The project included 199 subjects presenting for percutaneous liver biopsy using local anesthesia. Subjects were randomized into 2 groups: the control group, which received lidocaine alone, and the experimental group, which received lidocaine buffered with sodium bicarbonate. Immediately after they received the lidocaine injection, both groups were asked to rate their preprocedure anxiety and pain using a 0-10 visual analog scale. Mean postprocedure pain was statistically significantly different between the two arms with the intervention group reporting less pain (1.65 vs. 2.27, p = .037). Change in pain scores between the two groups were also statistically significantly different with the intervention group reporting a mean change in pain score of 0.93 compared to 1.63 in the control group (p = .021). However, no differences were found for reported anxiety. This study has shown that using sodium bicarbonate with lidocaine significantly decreased pain sensation at the injection site when used for deep visceral anesthesia during percutaneous liver biopsy.