We investigated whether alcohol pretreatment sufficient to cause fatty liver change would affect the disposition of bupivacaine after i.v. administration in pigs. Twelve male pigs (22-26 kg) were randomly divided into two groups of six each. Group A received ethanol (1 g kg-1 day-1) via an intragastric tube for 16 days. Group D received an equal volume of isocaloric dextrose 44% in water for this period. On day 17, left internal jugular and carotid cannulae were placed under thiopentone anaesthesia. On recovery from anaesthesia, a blood sample was taken for the determination of liver function indices and then bupivacaine hydrochloride (1.2 mg kg-1) was administered over one minute and samples for plasma bupivacaine analysis taken from the arterial cannulae over the next five hours. Right liver lobe biopsies were taken and animals were killed under general anaesthesia. Blind evaluation of liver biopsies confirmed fatty liver changes only in alcohol-pretreated livers. Despite this there were no differences in bupivacaine disposition and liver function indices between the two groups.
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