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.
"Schnabel et al.  in 2010 also reported that perioperative PVB is a feasible and effective method for improved postoperative pain after breast surgery. Thavaneswaran et al.  concluded that PVB can be applied during herniorrhaphy. Although our meta-analysis showed that there was no difference in pain scores and pulmonary complications between PVB and EPI, there was a statistically significant improvement in PVB in terms of adverse side effects. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The most recent systematic review and meta-analysis comparing the analgesic efficacy and side effects of paravertebral and epidural blockade for thoracotomy was published in 2006. Nine well-designed randomized trials with controversial results have been published since then. The present report constitutes an updated meta-analysis of this issue.
Thoracotomy is a major surgical procedure and is associated with severe postoperative pain. Epidural analgesia is the gold standard for post-thoracotomy pain management, but has its limitations and contraindications, and paravertebral blockade is increasingly popular. However, it has not been decided whether the analgesic effect of the two methods is comparable, or whether paravertebral blockade leads to a lower incidence of adverse side effects after thoracotomy.
Two reviewers independently searched the databases PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library (last performed on 1 February, 2013) for reports of studies comparing post-thoracotomy epidural analgesia and paravertebral blockade. The same individuals independently extracted data from the appropriate studies.
Eighteen trials involving 777 patients were included in the current analysis. There was no significant difference in pain scores between paravertebral blockade and epidural analgesia at 4-8, 24, 48 hours, and the rates of pulmonary complications and morphine usage during the first 24 hours were also similar. However, paravertebral blockade was better than epidural analgesia in reducing the incidence of urinary retention (p<0.0001), nausea and vomiting (p = 0.01), hypotension (p<0.00001), and rates of failed block were lower in the paravertebral blockade group (p = 0.01).
This meta-analysis showed that PVB can provide comparable pain relief to traditional EPI, and may have a better side-effect profile for pain relief after thoracic surgery. Further high-powered randomized trials are to need to determine whether PVB truly offers any advantages over EPI.
PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e96233. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0096233 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"Perioperative opioid administration compounds the problem further. One systemic review showed a statistically significant lesser risk of PONV of PVB over GA. Significant PONV requiring treatment occurred in three (10.34%) patients of group P and in nine (30%) patients of group G. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: General anaesthesia is currently the conventional technique used for surgical treatment of breast lump. Paravertebral block (PVB) has been used for unilateral procedures such as thoracotomy, breast surgery, chest wall trauma, hernia repair or renal surgery.
We compared unilateral thoracic PVB with general anaesthesia (GA) in 60 consenting ASA physical status I and II female patients of 18-65 years age, scheduled for unilateral breast surgery. Patients were randomly assigned into two groups, P (n=30) or G (n=30), to receive either PVB or GA, respectively.
The average time to first post-operative analgesic requirement at visual analogue scale score≥4 (primary endpoint) was significantly longer in group P (303.97±76.08 min) than in group G (131.33±21.36 min), P<0.001. Total rescue analgesic (Inj. Tramadol) requirements in the first 24 h were 105.17±20.46 mg in group P as compared with 176.67±52.08 mg in group G (P<0.001). Significant post-operative nausea and vomiting requiring treatment occurred in three (10.34%) patients of the PVB group and eight (26.67%) patients in the GA group.
The present study concludes that unilateral PVB is more efficacious in terms of prolonging post-operative analgesia and reducing morbidities in patients undergoing elective unilateral breast surgery.
Indian journal of anaesthesia 03/2012; 56(1):27-33. DOI:10.4103/0019-5049.93340
"Evidence for better pain control compared to TEA is controversial. Despite some reports demonstrating advantages of TVPB over TEA [5,16], the preponderance of the evidence shows equal clinical effectiveness between the two techniques [1,2,3,4, 6, 7, 12]. Nevertheless it must be mentioned that most of the trials evaluating analgesia after thoracic surgery did not report data on the rate of satisfactory analgesia after 72 hours. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An appropriate post operative analgesia after thoracotomies is mandatory to improve the patient’s outcome, reduce complications rate, morbidity, hospital cost and length of stay. In this paper we review the evidences regarding the use of paravertebral block for thoracic surgery.
In particular we examine the effect of paravertebral block compared to the other technique in four major issues: analgesia, complications rate, postoperative pulmonary function and transition from acute to chronic pain.
We conclude that paravertebral block is superior to intravenous analgesia in providing pain control and preserving postoperative pulmonary function while it is equal to thoracic epidural analgesia regarding this two issues. Paravertebral block has a better safety profile when compared to intravenous and thoracic epidural analgesia. Its effect on chronic pain incidence still needs further studies.
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