Ultrasound assessment of cranial spread during caudal blockade in children: the effect of different volumes of local anaesthetics.
Br J Anaesth. 2011 Aug;107(2):229-35
Authors: Brenner L, Marhofer P, Kettner SC, Willschke H, Machata AM, Al-Zoraigi U, Lundblad M, Lönnqvist PA
BACKGROUND: Despite the large amount of literature on caudal anaesthesia in children, the issue of volume of local anaesthetics and cranial spread is still not settled. Thus, the aim of the present prospective randomized study was to evaluate the cranial spread of caudally administered local anaesthetics in children by means of real-time ultrasound, with a special focus on the effects of using different volumes of local anaesthetics.
METHODS: Seventy-five children, 1 month to 6 yr, undergoing inguinal hernia repair or more distal surgery were randomized to receive a caudal block with 0.7, 1.0, or 1.3 ml kg(-1) ropivacaine. The cranial spread of the local anaesthetic within the spinal canal was assessed by real-time ultrasound scanning; the absolute cranial segmental level and the cranial level relative to the conus medullaris were determined.
RESULTS: All the blocks were judged to be clinically successful. A significant correlation was found between the injected volume and the cranial level reached by the local anaesthetic both with regards to the absolute cranial segmental level and the cranial level relative to the conus medullaris.
CONCLUSIONS: The main finding of the present study was positive, but numerically small correlation between injected volumes of local anaesthetic and the cranial spread of caudally administered local anaesthetics. Therefore, the prediction of the cranial spread of local anaesthetic, depending on the injected volume of the local anaesthetic, was not possible. EudraCT Number: 2008-007627-40.
PMID: 21642642 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]