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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-27

Advancement of epidural catheter from lumbar to thoracic space in children: Comparison between 18G and 23G catheters

1 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Radiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dalim Kumar Baidya
Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Hostel 8, Room No 67, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9185.92429

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Backgrounds and Objectives: Lumbar-to-thoracic advancement of epidural catheter is a safe alternative to direct thoracic placement in children. In this prospective randomized study, success rate of advancement of two different types and gauges of catheter from lumbar-to-thoracic space were studied. Materials and Methods: Forty ASA I and II children (up to 6 years) undergoing thoracic or upper-abdominal surgery were allocated to either Group I (18G catheter) or Group II (23G catheter). After induction of general anesthesia a pre-determined length of catheter was inserted. Successful catheter placement was defined as the catheter tip within two segment of surgical incision in radio-contrast study. Intra-operative analgesia was provided by epidural bupivacaine and intravenous morphine. Post-operative analgesia was provided with epidural infusion of 0.1% bupivacaine+1mcg/ml fentanyl. Observations and Results: Catheter advancement was successful in 3 cases in Group I and 2 cases in Group II. Five different types of catheter positions were found on X-ray. Negative correlation was found between age and catheter advancement [significance (2-tailed) =0.03]. However, satisfactory post-operative analgesia was obtained in 35 cases. Positive correlation was found between infusion rate, the number of segment of gap between desired level and the level reached [significance (2-tailed) =0.00]. 23G catheter use was associated with more technical complications. Conclusion: Advancement of epidural catheter from lumbar to thoracic level was successful in only 10-15% cases but satisfactory analgesia could be provided by increasing the infusion rates.

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