The effect of chronic toxicity of pethidine on the spinal cord: an experimental model in rabbits

Vol. 54 No. 3 Suppl., 2013
This supplement was not sponsored by Outside Organizations.


C. Pestean, M. Taulescu, C. Ober, C. Catoi, V. Miclaus, L. Oana, C. Bodolea

The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of chronic spinal analgesia with pethidine in a rabbit model. We introduced epidural catheters in twenty New Zealand white rabbits, divided into two groups, and we administered 0.5 mg/kg pethidine or the same volume of normal saline through the catheters, for three consecutive days. Throughout the experiment, the animals were evaluated in terms of neurological status using the Tarlov score. After the rabbit's euthanasia, 4 micro-m sections of spinal cord stained with Hematoxylin-Eosin were analyzed by a pathologist blinded to the study for neurohistopathological changes. The results were statistically analyzed with Prism 5 software for Windows. No significant differences were noticed between the two groups in as far as body temperature (p=0.295) and weight (p=0.139) were concerned. In the group of animals, which received epidural pethidine, nine rabbits showed histological changes suggestive for neurotoxicity at the lumbar level of the spinal cord. These findings were significantly different compared with the control group which received only saline (no microscopic lesions revealed; p=0.0006). When combining the data from both groups or using the pethidine group alone, there was a significant correlation between the presence of neurological injury (Tarlov score) and the presence of the histopathological lesions in the spinal cord (r=-0.709, p=0.0002 and r=-0.635, p=0.013, respectively). Based on our findings, the chronic epidural administration of pethidine in rabbits induces moderate to severe histological changes on the spinal cord, but further investigations are needed to make a definitive statement about the histological effect of pethidine on the neurological tissue.

Corresponding author: Marian Taulescu, Teaching Assistant, DVM, PhD; e-mail:

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Krisztina Martha, T. Mezei, Kinga Janosi

The aim of this histological study was to analyze the gingival reaction to fixed orthodontic appliances. Gingival specimens were obtained with minimal trauma from 11 patients treated with fixed appliances in different intervals during the orthodontic treatment, including post-treatment periods. Serial sections were stained with Hematoxylin-Eosin. T- and B-cells were identified by specific antibodies, using a double staining technique with Avidin-Biotin method. Histological observations demonstrated and confirmed the presence of gingivitis during orthodontic treatment. According to the usual histological evaluation, the biopsies revealed the presence of hyperplastic chronic inflammatory changes from mild to moderate severity. The lack of rapid increase of CD20+ cells demonstrated that the gingival inflammation did not cause overall tissue destruction.

Corresponding author: Krisztina Martha, Assistant Professor, DDS, PhD; e-mail:

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