Combined spinal-epidural anesthesia (CSE) is an effective technique with rapid onset of labor analgesia. We describe two cases of excessive cephalad spread of sensory blockade without motor blockade in two parturients in spontaneous labor with CSE. The patients received sufentanil 5 microg intrathecally with 1.25 mg bupivacaine. Spinal injection produced dyspnea and extension of sensory blockade to cervical or facial level without fetal consequences. We conclude that the risk of these side-effects previously described with the 10 microg dose persists for lower sufentanil spinal doses.