Paravertebral Block for Anesthesia: A Systematic Review

ASERNIP-S, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Adelaide, Australia.
Anesthesia and analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.42). 06/2010; 110(6):1740-4. DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3181da82c8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of this review was to assess the safety and efficacy of thoracic and lumbar paravertebral blocks (PVBs) for surgical anesthesia through a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature. PVBs for surgical anesthesia were compared with general anesthesia (GA) or other regional anesthetic techniques.
We searched literature databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, and The Cochrane Library up to May 2008. Included studies were limited to eligible randomized controlled trials. Eight randomized controlled trials were included in this review, 6 of which used PVBs for anesthesia during breast surgery, and 2 trials used PVB for anesthesia during herniorrhaphy.
The ability to obtain firm conclusions was limited by the diversity of outcomes and how they were measured, which varied across studies. The PVB failure rate was not >13%, and patients were more satisfied with PVB than with GA. There was some indication that PVB could achieve shorter hospital stays than GA. PVB for anesthesia substantially reduces nausea and vomiting in comparison with GA (relative risk: 0.25, 95% CI: 0.13-0.50; P < 0.05), although it does carry a risk of pleural puncture and epidural spread of local anesthetic.
In conclusion, based on the current evidence, PVBs for surgical anesthesia at the level of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae are associated with less pain during the immediate postoperative period, as well as less postoperative nausea and vomiting, and greater patient satisfaction compared with GA.

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