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The comparative effectiveness of quadratus lumborum blocks and paravertebral blocks in radical cystectomy patients
School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Apr  2018 (Vol.  25, Issue  2, Pages( 9255 - 9261)
PMID: 29680003


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    Multimodal analgesia is an effective way to control pain and limit opioid use after surgery. The quadratus lumborum block and paravertebral block are two regional anesthesia techniques that leverage multimodal analgesia to improve postoperative pain control. We sought to compare the efficacy of these blocks for pain management following radical cystectomy.


    We performed a retrospective review of radical cystectomy patients who received bilateral continuous paravertebral blocks (n = 125) or bilateral single shot quadratus lumborum blocks (n = 50) between 2014-2016. The primary outcome was postoperative opiate consumption on day 0. Secondary outcomes included self-reported pain scores and hospital length of stay.


    Quadratus lumborum block patients had similar opioid use on postoperative day 0 compared with paravertebral block patients (29 mg versus 30 mg, p = 0.90). Pain scores on postoperative day 0 were similar between quadratus lumborum block and paravertebral block groups (4.0 versus 3.8, p = 0.72); however, the paravertebral block group had lower pain scores on days 1-3 compared with the quadratus lumborum block group (all p < 0.05). Hospital length of stay was similar between groups (6.6 days versus 6.2 days, p = 0.41).


    There were no differences in opioid consumption among patients receiving bilateral single shot quadratus lumborum blocks and bilateral continuous paravertebral blocks after radical cystectomy. These data suggest that the quadratus lumborum block is a viable alternative for delivering multimodal analgesia in cystectomy patients.