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Anesth Essays Res. 2019 Jul-Sep;13(3):547-553. doi: 10.4103/aer.AER_90_19.

Fascia Iliaca Block as an Anesthetic Technique for: Acute Lower Limb Ischemia.

Author information

Department of Anesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.
Department of Vascular Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.
Department of General Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.



The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of preoperative fascia iliaca block (FIB) as a sole anesthetic technique in transfemoral thromboembolectomy of unilateral acute lower limb ischemia compared to unilateral spinal anesthesia (SA) as a primary outcome. Hemodynamic variation, postoperative pain score, and the first demand for analgesia with the total postoperative analgesic required in the 1st postoperative day were considered as the secondary outcome.

Patients and Methods:

This prospective randomized controlled study included two groups of patients aged between 40 and 70 years, who underwent transfemoral thrombectomy for acute unilateral lower limb ischemia. Patients in the spinal group (SA) (n = 56): underwent unilateral SA using 10 mg bupivacaine 0.5% and patients in the group FIB (n = 56): received FIB with 30 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine. Sensory block was evaluated over the incisional area with 3-point scale. If the sensory block did not reach zero grade after 30 min, the patient received general anesthesia.


The incidence of the successful block was 100% in the SA group compared to 80.35% in the FIB group. There was a significant decrease in recorded heart rate and mean blood pressure within the SA group at 3, 10, and 20 min and 3, 20, and 45 min, respectively. Values of visual analog scale decreased significantly in SA group compared to that of the FIB group immediately and 1 h postoperative. However, the time for the first postoperative analgesic requirement and morphine consumption was comparable between the groups.


Preoperative FIB could be considered as a promising alternative anesthetic technique to SA with better hemodynamic parameters in patients undergoing transfemoral thrombectomy for acute lower limb ischemia. It could be also due to limited precautions considered the first choice over SA for patients on perioperative anticoagulants.


Bupivacaine; fascia iliaca block; lower limb ischemia; thrombectomy; unilateral spinal

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