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Moorthy A, Ni Eochagain A, Dempsey E, Wall V, Marsh H, Murphy T, Fitzmaurice GJ, Naughton RA, Buggy DJ: Postoperative recovery with continuous erector spinae plane block or video-assisted paravertebral block after minimally invasive thoracic surgery: a prospective, randomised controlled trial. Br J Anaesth 2022

July 26, 2022

PROcedure SPECific Postoperative Pain ManagemenT (PROSPECT) guidelines recommend erector spinae plane (ESP) block or paravertebral block (PVB) for postoperative analgesia after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). However, there are few trials comparing the effectiveness of these techniques on patient-centric outcomes, and none evaluating chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP). Furthermore, there are no available trials comparing ultrasound- guided ESP with surgically placed PVB in this patient cohort.
Methods: We conducted a two-centre, prospective, randomised, double-blind, controlled trial, comparing anaesthesiologist-administered, ultrasound-guided ESP catheter with surgeon-administered, video-assisted PVB catheter analgesia among 80 adult patients undergoing VATS. Participants received a 20 ml bolus of levobupivacaine 0.375% followed by infusion of levobupivacaine 0.15% (10e15 ml h1 ) for 48 h. Primary outcome was Quality of Recovery-15 score (QoR-15) at 24 h. Secondary outcomes included QoR-15 at 48 h, peak inspiratory flow (ml s1 ) at 24 h and 48 h, area under the pain verbal response score vs time curve (AUC), opioid consumption, Comprehensive Complication Index, length of stay, and CPSP at 3 months after surgery.
Results: Median (25e75%) QoR-15 at 24 h was higher in ESP (n¼37) compared with PVB (n¼37): 118 (106e134) vs 110 (89e121) (P¼0.03) and at 48 h: 131 (121e139) vs 120 (111e133) (P¼0.03). There were no differences in peak inspiratory flow, AUC, Comprehensive Complication Index, length of hospital stay, and opioid consumption. Incidence of CPSP at 3 months was 12 (34%) for ESP and 11 (31%) for PVB (P¼0.7).
Compared with video-assisted, surgeon-placed paravertebral catheter, erector spinae catheter improved overall QoR-15 scores at 24 h and 48 h but without differences in pain or opioid consumption after minimally invasive thoracic surgery.
Clinical trial registration: NCT04729712