Published online Jul 26, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i21.5900
Peer-review started: February 25, 2021
First decision: April 14, 2021
Revised: April 19, 2021
Accepted: April 26, 2021
Article in press: April 26, 2021
Published online: July 26, 2021
For parturients with paroxysmal uterine contraction pain, rapid analgesia is needed. We used preprocedure ultrasound imaging combined with the palpation technique in epidural analgesia for labor, and evaluated the usefulness of this technique in epidural labor analgesia.
To evaluate the usefulness of preprocedure ultrasound imaging in epidural analgesia for labor.
In this prospective randomized observational study, 72 parturients were assigned to two groups (combined or palpation group). The target interspace of all parturients was first identified by the palpation technique. Then in the combined group, preprocedure ultrasound imaging was used before epidural puncture. In the palpation group, only the traditional anatomical landmarks technique (palpation technique) was performed. The primary outcome was total duration of the epidural procedure (for the ultrasound group, the duration of the preprocedure ultrasound imaging was included). The secondary outcomes were the number of skin punctures, the success rate at first needle pass, the number of needle passes, the depth from the skin to epidural space, and the complications of the procedure.
Total duration of the epidural procedure was similar between the two groups (406.5 ± 92.15 s in the combined group and 380.03 ± 128.2 s in the palpation group; P = 0.318). A significant improvement was demonstrated for epidural puncture and catheterization in the combined group. The number of needle passes was 1.14 in the combined group and 1.72 in the palpation group (P = 0.001). The number of skin puncture sites was 1.20 in the combined group and 1.25 in the palpation group (P = 0.398). The success rate at first needle pass was 88.89% in the combined group and 66.67% in the palpation group (P = 0.045).
This study demonstrated that the total duration of epidural procedures with preprocedure ultrasound imaging combined with the palpation technique was not longer than the traditional anatomical landmarks technique, which were performed by six experienced anesthesiologists in parturients with normal weights undergoing labor analgesia.
Core Tip: This is the first study of preprocedure ultrasound imaging combined with the palpation technique in epidural labor analgesia. This combined technique increases the first-pass success rate of epidural catheterization but does not increase the total procedural time in labor analgesia.