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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 470240, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/470240
Research Article

Using Computed Tomography Scans and Patient Demographic Data to Estimate Thoracic Epidural Space Depth

1University of Texas San Antonio Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
2Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
4Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA
5Department of Pain Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 17 February 2015; Accepted 6 April 2015

Academic Editor: Giustino Varrassi

Copyright © 2015 Alyssa Kosturakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background and Objectives. Previous studies have used varying methods to estimate the depth of the epidural space prior to placement of an epidural catheter. We aim to use computed tomography scans, patient demographics, and vertebral level to estimate the depth of the loss of resistance for placement of thoracic epidural catheters. Methods. The records of consecutive patients who received a thoracic epidural catheter were reviewed. Patient demographics, epidural placement site, and technique were collected. Preoperative computed tomography scans were reviewed to measure the skin to epidural space distance. Linear regression was used for a multivariate analysis. Results. The records of 218 patients were reviewed. The mean loss of resistance measurement was significantly larger than the mean computed tomography epidural space depth measurement by 0.79 cm (). Our final multivariate model, adjusted for demographic and epidural technique, showed a positive correlation between the loss of resistance and the computed tomography epidural space depth measurement (, ). Conclusions. The measured loss of resistance is positively correlated with the computed tomography epidural space depth measurement and patient demographics. For patients undergoing thoracic or abdominal surgery, estimating the loss of resistance can be a valuable tool.