Ultrasound-guided quadratus lumborum block for postoperative pain control in patients undergoing unilateral inguinal hernia repair, a comparative study between two approaches

BMC Anesthesiol. 2019 Oct 17;19(1):184. doi: 10.1186/s12871-019-0862-z.


Background: Early postoperative ambulation and reduction of hospital stay necessitate efficient postoperative analgesia. Quadrates Lumborum Block (QLB) has been described to provide adequate postoperative analgesia after abdominal surgery. This randomized comparative trial was designed to compare the duration of analgesia provided by two different QLB approaches; the posterior QLB (QLB-2) and transmuscular QLB (QLB-3) in patients undergoing surgical repair of unilateral inguinal hernia.

Methods: Forty patients, aged from 18 to 50 years, ASA physical status I or II, scheduled for unilateral inguinal hernia repair were enrolled. At the end of the surgical procedure and before recovery from general anesthesia, Patients were randomly assigned into two groups to receive either posterior QLB (Group QLB-2) or transmuscular QLB (Group QLB-3) using 20 ml 0.25% bupivacaine. Duration of analgesia, postoperative VAS and postoperative opioid consumption were recorded.

Results: Duration of block was significantly longer in QLB-3 group when compared to QLB-2 group (20.1 + 6.2 h versus 12.0 + 4.8 respectively) with P value of < 0.001. A statistically significant lower VAS score was recorded in QLB-3 group immediately and 12 h postoperative. QLB-3 group showed a statistically significant delayed time of first analgesic request and less postoperative morphine consumption with P value of < 0.001 and 0.001 respectively.

Conclusions: Ultrasound guided postsurgical transmuscular approach of QLB (QLB-3) using 20 ml 0.25% bupivacaine produces more postoperative analgesic effect and less postoperative opioid consumption when compared to posterior QLB approach (QLB-2) in patients underwent unilateral inguinal hernia repair under general anesthesia.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03526731 - on 16 May 2018.

Keywords: Quadratus lumborum block; Ultrasound guided transversus abdominus plan block; Ultrasound-guided lumbar plexus technique; Ultrasound-guided transmuscular quadratus lumborum blockade.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Anesthesia, General / methods
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Bupivacaine / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Bupivacaine

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03526731