A Comparison of Analgesia After a Thoracoscopic Lung Cancer Operation with a Sustained Epidural Block and a Sustained Paravertebral Block: A Randomized Controlled Study

Lung Cancer

Adv Ther. 2020 Jul 31. doi: 10.1007/s12325-020-01446-3. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to compare the challenge of puncture and catheterization and the effect of postoperative analgesia of ultrasound-guided continuous thoracic paravertebral block and the continuous epidural analgesia in patients receiving thoracoscopic surgery for lung cancer.

METHODS: One-hundred and fifty patients received elective unilateral thoracoscopic surgery for lung cancer and were randomized into three groups; test group 1 (T group), test group 2 (P group), and the control group (E group). Both of the test groups received ultrasound-guided continuous thoracic paravertebral block (TPVB) while the control group received continuous epidural analgesia. After the operation, all the patients in the test groups received the same postoperative analgesia; loading dose 0.5 mg kg-1, background dose 0.25 mg kg-1 h-1, patient controlled analgesia (PCA) 0.25 mg kg-1, and a locking time of 60 min, while the patients in the control group received a loading dose of 5 ml, a background dose of 5 ml h-1, and a locking time of 20 min. The outcomes of this study were the success rate of the puncture and catheter placement, the blocked segments, numerical rating scale (NRS) scores at rest and during coughing, and the segments with reduced or lost cold and pinpricking sensation.

RESULTS: The success rates of the puncture and catheterization in group T were the highest. Compared with group P, the failure rate of the puncture in group E was lower (p < 0.05), but the success rate of catheterization was higher (p < 0.05). The puncture time in group T was the shortest; there was no difference between group E and group T. The time of catheterization in group P was the longest, this was followed by group T, and was the fastest in group E. The stable time of the block level in group E was shorter than that in groups P and T, but was similar between groups P and T. The block level of all three groups in the 4 h postoperative period was similar (p > 0.05), while the 4 h postoperative levels of groups P and T were reduced significantly (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The continuous analgesia technique of paravertebral space catheterization cannot replace the continuous epidural analgesia in thoracoscopic lung cancer surgery as the latter technique is still considered to be the gold standard.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: China Clinical Trial Registration Center identifier ChiCTR1900020973.