Comparison of Epidrum, Epi-Jet, and Loss of Resistance syringe techniques for identifying the epidural space in obstetric patients
Background: Identifying the epidural space is essential during epidural anesthesia (EA). Pressure of the epidural space in pregnancy is higher than that in nonpregnant woman. Loss of resistance (LOR) method is the most commonly preferred method for identifying the epidural space. Epidrum and Epi-Jet are recently innovated supporting devices that facilitate identifying process for epidural space. In this study we aimed to compare Epidrum, Epi-Jet, and LOR methods in identifying the epidural space, feasibility of technique.
Methods: Two hundred and forty pregnant women who were scheduled for caesarian section surgery under lumbar EA or combined spinal epidural anesthesia (CSEA) were randomized into three groups (Group I Epidrum, n = 80), Group II (Epi-Jet, n = 80), and Group III (LOR, n = 80). We recorded the time required to identify the epidural space and deflation of Epidrum balloon and Epi-Jet syringe, number of attempts, additional methods used to identify epidural space, usefulness of methods, accuracy of identification of epidural space, and outcomes of epidural catheterization.
Results: There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to demographic data, duration of deflation of Epidrum balloon and Epi-Jet syringe and distance between skin and epidural space. The mean time required to enter epidural space in Group I was shorter than that in Group II (P = 0.031). Feasibility of Epi-Jet was easier than that of Epidrum (P = 0.015). Number of uncertainties of epidural space identification was higher in Group I than that in Group II (P = 0.009). Also, the requirement for LOR to confirm epidural space and failure rates was higher in Group I than Group II (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: We suggest that Epi-Jet is superior to Epidrum in pregnant patients in terms of clarity of epidural space identification, usefulness, and success rates of EA or CSEA.
Keywords: Epi-Jet, Epidrum, epidural anesthesia