Lumbar Ultrasonography for Obstetric Neuraxial Blocks: Sonoanatomy and Literature Review

Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim. 2018 Aug;46(4):257-267. doi: 10.5152/TJAR.2018.90277. Epub 2018 Aug 1.


Ultrasonography has gained popularity in recent years among anaesthesiologists and being used widely for regional blocks and central venous catheterization. Ultrasonography for neuraxial blocks was found beneficial especially for determining the correct needle insertion site and estimating the needle insertion depth of epidural space. In many recent studies, ultrasound guided epidural and spinal blocks have been evaluated among obstetric patients. Pre-procedural lumbar ultrasonography and real time ultrasound guidance for neuraxial blocks was the subject of these studies. We aimed to evaluate lumbar ultrasonography for obstetric neuraxial blocks. We describe the principles of lumbar ultrasound scanning techniques and present a practical review of lumbar sonoanatomy. We discuss the potential impact and benefits of the ultrasound-guided technique in improving obstetric neuraxial blocks and limitations of its use in clinical practice, based on previous studies.

Keywords: Lumbar ultrasonography; neuraxial block; obstetric anesthesia.

Publication types

  • Review