Ultrasound-guided Erector Spinae Plane Block for Postoperative Analgesia

A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Jiao Huang; Jing-Chen Liu


BMC Anesthesiol. 2020;20(83) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Ultrasound-guided Erector Spinae Plane Block (ESPB) has been increasingly applied in patients for postoperative analgesia. Its effectiveness remain uncertain. This meta-analysis aimed to determine the clinical efficacy of ultrasound-guided ESPB in adults undergoing general anesthesia (GA) surgeries.

Methods: A systematic databases search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing ESPB with control or placebo. Primary outcome was iv. opioid consumption 24 h after surgery. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) and risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with a random-effects model.

Results: A total of 12 RCTs consisting of 590 patients were included. Ultrasound-guided ESPB showed a reduction of intravenous opioid consumption 24 h after surgery (SMD = − 2.18; 95% confidence interval (CI) -2.76 to − 1.61,p < 0.00001). Considerable heterogeneity was observed (87%). It further reduced the number of patients who required postoperative analgesia (RR = 0.41,95% CI 0.25 to 0.66,p = 0,0002) and prolonged time to first rescue analgesia (SMD = 4.56,95% CI 1.89 to 7.22, p = 0.0008).

Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided ESPB provides effective postoperative analgesic in adults undergoing GA surgeries.