To determine whether lidocaine is superior to nonanesthetic lubricant (NAL) for relieving pain in children undergoing urethral catheterization (UC).


Children 0 to 24 months requiring UC were randomized to NAL or topical and intraurethral 2% lidocaine gel. Primary outcome was facial grimacing in the pre to during drug administration and catheterization phases. Secondary outcome was caregiver satisfaction by using a Visual Analog Scale.


There were 133 participants (n = 68 lidocaine, n = 65 NAL). There were no significant differences in mean (SD) scores during UC between lidocaine and NAL (86.4% [121.5%] vs 85.2% [126.6%]), respectively (Δ [confidence interval (CI)] = −1.2 [−21.0 to 49.0], P = .4). There was a significantly greater difference in mean (SD) scores during instillation of lidocaine versus NAL (61.8% [105.6%] vs 3.2% [84.9%]), respectively (Δ [CI] –58.6 [–95.0 to –32.0], P < .001). There were no significant differences in mean (SD) parental satisfaction scores between lidocaine and NAL (4.8 [3.2] vs 5.9 [2.9]), respectively (CI–0.1 to 2.2; P = .06). In the subgroup analysis, age, gender, and positive urine culture did not significantly influence between-group differences in facial grimacing.


Compared with NAL, topical and intraurethral lidocaine is not associated with significant pain reduction during UC, but significantly greater pain during instillation. Therefore, clinicians may consider using noninvasive pain-reducing strategies for young children who require UC.

You do not currently have access to this content.