Current Issue - September/October 2022 - Vol 25 Issue 6


  1. 2022;25;E795-E803Ultrasound-guided Retrolaminar Block Versus Thoracic Epidural Analgesia for Pain Control Following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
    Randomized Trial
    Alshaimaa Abdel Fattah Kamel, MD, Khadeja M. Elhossieny, MD, Ahmed S. Hegab, MD, and Dina Abdelhameed Elsadek Salem, MD.

BACKGROUND: Anesthesiologists are always looking for a regional analgesic technique which is easy, safe, has a low complication rate, and provides satisfactory analgesia. A retrolaminar block is a recent modified paravertebral technique for analgesia in  thoracoabdominal procedures with a local anesthetic injected at the retrolaminar site. It has the advantage of being safe and easy compared with traditional thoracic epidural analgesia but is still under investigation.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare ultrasound-guided bilateral retrolaminar block with ultrasound-guided thoracic epidural analgesia for pain relief after laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

STUDY DESIGN: A prospective randomized double-blinded clinical study.

SETTING: Academic University Hospitals.

METHODS: Fifty-two adult patients were randomly allocated into 2 equal groups at the end of the surgery: Group R (n = 26) received a bilateral ultrasound-guided retrolaminar block with 20 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine and 5 µg/mL adrenaline (1:200000) in each side. Group T (n = 26) received ultrasound-guided thoracic epidural analgesia with 20 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine and 5 µg/mL adrenaline (1:200000).

RESULTS: The Numeric Rating Scale  scores both at rest and during cough were statistically significantly lower in Group R compared with Group T at 30 minutes and one hour postoperatively. The pain scores were statistically significantly lower for about 4 hours in Group R group compared with 6 hours in Group T. The time for the first call of nalbuphine was highly statistically significantly shorter in Group R group (233.04 ± 5.27 minutes) compared with Group T (353.77 ± 5.16 minutes) (mean difference -120.37, (95% CI,  -123.6 to -117.8) P < 0.001. The total amount of nalbuphine consumption in the first 12 hours was statistically significantly decreased in Group T (17.31 ± 5.52 mg) compared with Group R (27.69 ± 5.52 mg) (Mean difference 10.4, 95% CI  7.3-13.5), P < 0.001. The total number of patients who developed nausea and vomiting were statistically significantly greater in Group T (9 patients) compared with Group R group (3 patients), P = 0.04. Moreover, hypotension was statistically significantly more common among patients in Group T group (10 patients) compared with Group R (3 patients), P = 0.025. Both groups were comparable regarding patient satisfaction.

LIMITATIONS: There is limited literature in the field of the present study and sensory dermatome assessment, but this does not affect the results as we used an ultrasound-guided technique.

CONCLUSIONS: A single injection retrolaminar block provides adequate postoperative pain relief for about 4 hours compared with a single shot thoracic epidural that lasts about 6 hours. Patient satisfaction with both techniques was the same; about two-thirds of the patients were satisfied or very satisfied with either block.

KEY WORDS: Retrolaminar block, thoracic epidural, pain relief, laparoscopic cholecystectomy