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Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther. 2016;48(5):280-287. doi: 10.5603/AIT.2016.0059.

Comparison of continuous epidural block and continuous paravertebral block in postoperative analgaesia after video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy: a randomised, non-inferiority trial.

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Pulmonary Hospital, Zakopane, Poland.



Video-assisted (VATS) lung lobectomy can be associated with stronger postoperative pain than is commonly believed. It is generally accepted to introduce multimodal analgaesic strategies based on regional blockade, opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, there is still no consensus regarding the optimal regional technique. The aim of this study was to compare the analgaesic efficacy of continuous thoracic epidural block (TEA) and percutaneous continuous paravertebral block (PVB) in patients undergoing video-assisted lung lobectomy.


Fifty-one patients undergoing VATS lobectomy were enrolled in the present prospective, randomised clinical trial. The same analgaesic regimen in both groups included continuous infusion of 0.25% bupivacaine with epinephrine, intravenous ketoprofen and paracetamol. The doses of local anaesthetics were determined to achieve the spread of at least 4 segments in both groups. Postoperative static and dynamic visual analogue pain scores, as well as patient-controlled morphine usage, were used to compare the efficacy of analgaesia. Side effects and failure rates of both blocks were analysed.


Static and dynamic pain scores at 24 postoperative hours were significantly lower in the paravertebral group, as were the static pain score at 36 and 48 postoperative hours (P < 0.05). No difference between the treatment groups was identified regarding postoperative morphine usage. The failure rate was higher in the epidural group than in the paravertebral group. No complications were noted in either group, but side effects (urinary retention, hypotension) were more frequent in the epidural group (P < 0.05).


Postoperative pain following VATS lung resection procedures is significant and requires the application of complex analgaesic techniques. Percutaneous paravertebral block is equally effective as thoracic epidural block in providing analgaesia in patients undergoing VATS lobectomy. Paravertebral block has a better safety profile than thoracic epidural block.


analgaesia; epidural block; paravertebral block; postoperative

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