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Anesth Analg. 1995 Aug;81(2):301-4.

The optimal distance that a multiorifice epidural catheter should be threaded into the epidural space.

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1
Department of Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.

Abstract

Complications can occur during epidural placement for women in labor. As many as 23% of epidural anesthetics may not provide satisfactory analgesia. The cause of this may be technical. This study was undertaken to determine the optimal distance that a multiorifice catheter should be threaded into the epidural space to maximize analgesia and minimize complications. One hundred women in labor were enrolled in this prospective, randomized, and double-blind study. Patients were randomly assigned to have the epidural catheter threaded 3, 5, or 7 cm into the epidural space. After placement of the catheter and administration of a test dose with 3 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine, an additional 10 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine was administered in two divided doses. Fifteen minutes later, the adequacy of the analgesia was assessed by a blinded observer. We found that catheter insertion to a depth of 7 cm was associated with the highest rate of insertion complications while insertion to a depth of 5 cm was associated with the highest incidence of satisfactory analgesia. For women in labor who require continuous lumbar epidural anesthesia, we recommend threading a multiorifice epidural catheter 5 cm into the epidural space.

PMID:
7618719
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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