Year : 2018  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 279-282

Lumbar epidural depth using transverse ultrasound scan and its correlation with loss of resistance technique: A prospective observational study in Indian population

1 Department of Anaesthesia, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of aneasthesia, AIIMS, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rohan Bhatia
Department of Anaesthesia, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.SJA_679_17

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Background and Objectives: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the skin-epidural space distance as assessed by ultrasonography and conventional loss of resistance (LOR) technique and to find the correlation of epidural depth with body mass index (BMI). Methods: Ninety-eight patients of either sex, American Society of Anesthesiology I/II, BMI <30 kg/m2 requiring lumbar epidural for surgery were enrolled. The epidural space was assessed with a curvilinear ultrasound (US) probe, 2–5 MHz, in the transverse plane at L3–L4 intervertebral space. Thereafter, the epidural depth from skin was assessed with conventional LOR method while performing the epidural. The needle depth (ND) was measured using a sterile linear scale, and any change in the needle direction or intervertebral space was noted. Results: The patients were demographically similar. Depth of epidural space measured by US depth (UD) was 3.96 ± 0.44 cm (range 3.18–5.44 cm) and by ND was 4.04 ± 0.52 cm (range 2.7–5.7 cm). The Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) between UD and ND was 0.935 (95% confidence interval: 0.72–0.92, r2 = 0.874, P < 0.001), and Bland–Altman analysis revealed the 95% limits of agreement −0.494–0.652 cm. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates a good correlation between UD and ND and shows that the preprocedural US scan in transverse plane provides accurate needle entry site with a high success rate in single attempt for lumbar epidurals in patients with a BMI <30 kg/m2.

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