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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Transitory ataxia related to topically administered lidocaine.

OBJECTIVE: To report 2 cases of transitory cerebellar ataxia related to lidocaine administered topically for endoscopy. case summaries: Two patients developed transitory cerebellar ataxia a few minutes after local anesthesia using lidocaine 10% spray and lidocaine 2% orally for a bronchoscopy and transesophageal echocardiography. This effect completely disappeared in 3-5 hours. In neither case was an alternate etiology of cerebellar ataxia identified. The second patient had previously experienced a similar reaction to lidocaine. DISCUSSION: Several central neurologic effects of lidocaine have been reported, but until now, only few cases of cerebellar ataxia. In these 2 cases, the Naranjo probability scale indicated that a probable and a highly probable relationship existed between lidocaine administration and the transitory cerebellar ataxia. CONCLUSIONS: Cerebellar ataxia may occur after local anesthesia with lidocaine; therefore, care must be taken to avoid overdose, even when administered topically.[1]


  1. Transitory ataxia related to topically administered lidocaine. Perney, P., Blanc, F., Mourad, G., Blayac, J.P., Hillaire-Buys, D. The Annals of pharmacotherapy. (2004) [Pubmed]
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