Does Ultrasound Scanning of the Lumbar Spine Improve Patient Satisfaction and the Ease of Insertion Epidurals?

2014-07-23 21:12:26 | BioPortfolio


Ultrasound scanning of the back has been shown to increase success when used to guide epidural catheter insertion. However, this technique is not applied widely in clinical practice. Stronger evidence is required to prove that it will improve the clinical experience of labour epidurals.

The study hypothesis is that anesthesiologists (both residents and fellows), will have an increased rate of success and ease of insertion of labour epidural catheters, and that there will be increased patient satisfaction, if ultrasound scanning of the lumbar spine is done prior to the procedure.


Studies have shown that ultrasound scanning of the lumbar spine is beneficial in certain circumstances (eg. predicted difficult epidurals). However, no large scale studies with multiple anesthesiologists performing the technique have been done to show that ultrasound scanning may be of benefit in their everyday clinical practice.

This study will involve residents and fellows, each performing epidural insertions with and without the use of ultrasound scanning of the lumbar spine prior to the procedure. If the hypothesis is correct, then the use of this technique may become widespread, resulting in less complications and increased patients satisfaction.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Labor Pain


Portable ultrasound machine, Portable ultrasound machine


Mount Sinai Hospital




Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:12:26-0400

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