OBJECTIVES:

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

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

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