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Transversus Abdominis Plane Block

Section Editor(s): Saidman, LawrenceShibata, Yasuyuki MD; Sato, Yuko MD; Fujiwara, Yoshihiro MD, PhD; Komatsu, Toru MD, PhD

doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000268541.83265.7d
Letters to the Editor: Letters & Announcements

Department of Anesthesiology; Aichi Medical University School of Medicine; Aichi, Japan;

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To the Editor:

Using a “double-pop” technique to advance a needle into the transversus abdominis neurofascial plane via the lumbar triangle of Petit, McDonnell et al. (1) reported excellent analgesia following transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block. Following the earlier report of the results of this technique from these authors (2), we have performed transversus abdominal plane block under ultrasound guidance in patients undergoing gynecological abdominal surgery. The transversus abdominis neurofascial plane can be easily visualized on the midaxillary line and the local anesthetic spread can be confirmed in real-time.

We disagree with McDonnell et al. that TAP block can produce a dermatomal sensory block of the lower six thoracic and upper lumbar abdominal afferents. We assessed the extent of ultrasound guided TAP block by pinprick in 26 patients undergoing laparoscopic gynecological surgery. The mean upper and level of sensory block at 30 min after local anesthetic injection were T10 (range, T9–11), L1 (range, T12–L1), respectively. We think that lower abdominal surgery should be an indication for TAP block.

Yasuyuki Shibata, MD

Yuko Sato, MD

Yoshihiro Fujiwara, MD, PhD

Toru Komatsu, MD, PhD

Department of Anesthesiology

Aichi Medical University School of Medicine

Aichi, Japan

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1. McDonnell JG, O'Donnell B, Curley G, Heffernan A, Power C, Laffey JG. The analgesic efficacy of transversus abdominis plane block after abdominal surgery: a prospective randomized controlled trial. Anesth Analg 2007;104:193–7
2. O'Donnell BD, McDonnell JG, McShane AJ. The transversus abdominis plane (TAP) block in open retropubic prostatectomy. Reg Anesth Pain Med 2006;31:91
© 2007 International Anesthesia Research Society