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Lumbar Neuraxial Ultrasound for Spinal and Epidural Anesthesia

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Perlas, Anahi MD, FRCPC; Chaparro, Luis E. MD; Chin, Ki Jinn MD, FRCPC

Obstetric Anesthesia Digest: March 2017 - Volume 37 - Issue 1 - p 1
doi: 10.1097/01.aoa.0000511914.51004.41
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(Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2016;41:251–260)

Spinal anesthesia and lumbar epidural anesthesia are safe and effective anesthetic techniques. However, neuraxial blocks can sometimes be difficult to perform especially when the spinal anatomy is altered. This technical challenge poses a potential risk of procedural failure and consequent complications including postdural puncture headache and backache, epidural hematoma, and spinal cord injury. A neuraxial ultrasound of the spine delineates its anatomy precisely, thus facilitating successful insertion of a spinal or epidural needle. This study aimed to assess the evidence favoring the use of preprocedural neuraxial ultrasound for spinal or lumbar epidural anesthesia and to put forward recommendations for practice.

Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

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