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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53-60

Pre-procedure ultrasound-guided paramedian spinal anaesthesia at L5–S1: Is this better than landmark-guided midline approach? A randomised controlled trial

1 Department of Anaesthesia, Adelaide and Meath Hospital, National Children's Hospital Incorporated, Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
2 Department of Anaesthesia, Hospital for Sick Kids, Toronto, Canada
3 Department of Anaesthesia, Cork University Hospital, University College Cork, Wilton, Cork, Ireland
4 Department of Anaesthesia, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Karthikeyan Kallidaikurichi Srinivasan
Adelaide and Meath Hospital, National Children's Hospital Incorporated, Tallaght, Dublin 24
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ija.IJA_448_17

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Background and Aims: Routine use of pre-procedural ultrasound guided midline approach has not shown to improve success rate in administering subarachnoid block. The study hypothesis was that the routine use of pre-procedural (not real time) ultrasound-guided paramedian spinals at L5-S1 interspace could reduce the number of passes (i.e., withdrawal and redirection of spinal needle without exiting the skin) required to enter the subarachnoid space when compared to the conventional landmark-guided midline approach. Methods: After local ethics approval, 120 consenting patients scheduled for elective total joint replacements (Hip and Knee) were randomised into either Group C where conventional midline approach with palpated landmarks was used or Group P where pre-procedural ultrasound was used to perform subarachnoid block by paramedian approach at L5-S1 interspace (real time ultrasound guidance was not used). Results: There was no difference in primary outcome (difference in number of passes) between the two groups. Similarly there was no difference in the number of attempts (i.e., the number of times the spinal needle was withdrawn from the skin and reinserted). The first pass success rates (1 attempt and 1 pass) was significantly greater in Group C compared to Group P [43% vs. 22%, P = 0.02]. Conclusion: Routine use of paramedian spinal anaesthesia at L5-S1 interspace, guided by pre-procedure ultrasound, in patients undergoing lower limb joint arthroplasties did not reduce the number of passes or attempts needed to achieve successful dural puncture.

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