Chatigny, F., Groman, D. B., Martinson, S. A. et al. 2018. Evaluation of tissue changes following intramuscular infiltration of lidocaine in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Journal of Fish Biology 92(4), 888-900.

Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss were infiltrated with either saline or lidocaine adjacent to the dorsal fin to assess histopathological changes. Infiltration was done as if it were being used as a local anaesthetic. Tissue lesions and associated tissue healing were examined over a period of 30 days. Most changes occurred at the cranial site of where the solution was first infiltrated. The infiltration of a dose of 10 mg/kg of lidocaine appears to have damaged the skeletal muscle and connective tissues more than a similar volume of saline, especially during the first 15 days. The primary changes included haemorrhage, inflammation and muscle degeneration and necrosis. By day 30 post-infiltration inflammatory lesions were either nearly or completely absent, signs of myofibre regeneration were noted in only one fish. This experiment shows local anaesthetics and saline can produce localized tissue damage, especially during the first 2 weeks post infiltration. Care should be taken to allow the fish to heal for at least 30 days and probably more, no matter the solution administered, especially if giving repeated injections or infiltrations at the same site.

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