P>The objective of this study was to compare the block durations and haemodynamic effects associated with intrathecal levobupivacaine or bupivacaine in elderly patients undergoing transurethral prostate surgery. Eighty patients were prospectively randomised to receive plain 1.5 ml levobupivacaine 0.5% (group levobupivacaine) or 1.5 ml plain bupivacaine 0.5% (group bupivacaine) in combination with fentanyl 0.3 ml (15 mu g) for spinal anaesthesia. The time to reach T10 and peak sensory block level, and to maximum motor block were significantly shorter in group bupivacaine compared to group levobupivacaine (p < 0.05). Peak sensory block level was also significantly higher in group bupivacaine. In group bupivacaine, mean arterial pressure was significantly lower than group levobupivacaine, starting from 10 min until 30 min after injection (p < 0.05). Hypotension and nausea were less common in group levobupivacaine than group bupivacaine (p < 0.05). Because of the better haemodynamic stability and fewer side-effects associated with levobupivacaine, it may be preferred for spinal anaesthesia in elderly patients.