Aim: To evaluate retrospectively the safety and technical success of subcutaneous diphenhydramine as an alternative local anaesthetic for radiology procedures. Materials and methods: Between January 2000 and April 2021, 84 image-guided procedures were performed in 81 adult patients (mean age 61 years, 86% female) using 1% injectable diphenhydramine as a local anaesthetic. Indications were history of severe allergy to “-caine” local anaesthetics in 76 (90%) patients and recent administration of bupivacaine liposomal injectable suspension in eight (10%) patients. Twelve of the 84 (14%) procedures were performed with concomitant moderate sedation. Patient characteristics, procedural techniques, and clinical outcomes were reviewed. Early and delayed (30-day) complications were classified as either related to local diphenhydramine injection or to the procedure itself. Procedure-related complications were gradated using the Clavien–Dindo system. Results: Percutaneous biopsy was the most frequently performed procedure (57/84, 67%). Fifty-nine (70%) of the 84 procedures were ultrasound guided. The most common procedural site was the breast (34/84, 40%). All procedures were technically successful. There were two minor injection-related complications related to post-procedural pain. A single minor procedure-related complication involved a patient requiring hospital admission for post-renal biopsy related haematuria. Conclusion: Injectable diphenhydramine appears to be a safe and effective local anaesthetic alternative in patients with “-caine” class contraindications undergoing radiology procedures. A future prospective trial would be useful to assess the safety profile in an large cohort of patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging