Document Detail

Labor analgesia and infant brain development.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8981593     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A large percentage of newborns are exposed to pharmacological agents that affect the brain in connection with pain management during labor. The two most commonly used agents are meperidine, administered intravenously or intramuscularly, and bupivacaine, administered by the epidural route. Over the years, infant behavioral assessments have been used in the neonatal nursery to identify labor analgesia regimens with minimal impact on neonatal status. However, considerable controversy has centered on the general issue of possible harm to the neonate from use of analgesia and anesthesia in obstetrics. Due to limitations on experiments in the obstetric situation and a lack of suitable animal models, the broader issues concerning the effects of these agents on the developing brain and possible long-term consequences for infant adaptive functioning have received little attention. A series of studies has recently been completed using a rhesus monkey model for administration of labor analgesia under controlled experimental conditions and long-term behavioral evaluation of infants. Most of the assessments, including those of cognitive function, were not influenced by perinatal analgesia. However, these studies have confirmed the neonatal depressant effects of meperidine and have suggested that the course of behavioral maturation during certain periods of infancy is influenced by both meperidine and bupivacaine administration at birth. These effects could occur as a result of effects on vulnerable brain processes during a sensitive period, interference with programming of brain development by endogenous agents, or alteration in early experiences.
M S Golub
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior     Volume:  55     ISSN:  0091-3057     ISO Abbreviation:  Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav.     Publication Date:  1996 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-03-28     Completed Date:  1997-03-28     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0367050     Medline TA:  Pharmacol Biochem Behav     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  619-28     Citation Subset:  IM    
California Regional Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Analgesia, Obstetrical / adverse effects*
Analgesics / adverse effects*
Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
Anesthetics, Local / adverse effects
Brain / drug effects,  growth & development*
Bupivacaine / adverse effects
Meperidine / adverse effects
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Analgesics; 0/Analgesics, Opioid; 0/Anesthetics, Local; 2180-92-9/Bupivacaine; 57-42-1/Meperidine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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