Prospective observational investigation of body habitus measurements and relationship to epidural depth in term pregnant women. Acta anaesthesiologica Scandinavica Weiniger, C. F., Cohen, A. n., Aptekman, B. n., Carvalho, B. n. 2019


High body mass index (BMI) can predict difficult neuraxial block, however fat distribution may also be important. The primary study aim was to identify body habitus and fat distribution measurements that correlated with ultrasound measured epidural depth. We hypothesized that measurements such as midarm and subscapular fatpad thicknesses and length of cervical spine may correlate better with ultrasound measured epidural depth than a global measure of BMI.Prospective IRB approved study of term pregnant women requiring neuraxial block. We measured height, weight (BMI, kg/m2 ), subscapular, midarm fatpad thickness (digital caliper, mm), vertebral column length (C7 to sacral hiatus, cm) and epidural depth (ultrasound, mm). Four experts assessed photographs to assign anticipated difficult neuraxial block in sitting and lateral positions (5-point Likert scale, 1=very easy, 5=very difficult).131 women completed body habitus measurements. Measured mean (standard deviation) BMI was 30.3 (5.4) kg/m2 . Measured BMI, subscapular fatpad and midarm fatpad thickness were significantly correlated with ultrasound depth to epidural space (R-square 0.733, 0.626 and 0.633, respectively, p<0.0001) but vertebral column length was not. The experts had a high level of agreement (Cronbach's Alpha >0.7) for assessment of anticipated difficult block in the sitting and lateral positions however anticipated difficult block was not correlated with epidural depth measured by ultrasound for sitting position, R-square=-0.015, p=0.87; and lateral position, R-square=-0.087, p=0.33.Measurements of body habitus and fat distribution were no better than measured BMI to anticipate greater ultrasound measured depth to epidural space.

View details for DOI 10.1111/aas.13544

View details for PubMedID 31891434