Optimum Length of Catheter in the Epidural Space for Labor Analgesia in Non-obese Women: a Randomised Controlled Trial of 4 cm Versus 5 cm

  • STATUS
    Recruiting
  • days left to enroll
    23
  • participants needed
    398
  • sponsor
    Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital
Updated on 22 March 2022
analgesia
pain relieving
Accepts healthy volunteers

Summary

Epidural analgesia was introduced to the world of obstetrics in 1909 by Walter Stoeckel. Over the following 100 years it has developed to become the gold-standard for delivery of intra-partum analgesia, with between 60 and 75% of North American parturients receiving an epidural during their labor. Effective labor analgesia has been shown to improve maternal and fetal outcomes. One aspect of catheter insertion that has not been fully evaluated, and with very little recent work undertaken, is the optimal length of epidural catheter to be left in the epidural space. Dislodgement or displacement of epidural catheter remains a significant cause for failure with analgesia. Novel methods of fixation may further reduce the risk of catheter migration. Another factor is the direction of travel within the epidural space, only 13% of lumbar catheters remain uncoiled after insertion of more than 4 cm into the epidural space.

Hypothesis: The investigators hypothesize that catheters inserted to 4 cm will have a lower rate of failure when compared to those inserted to 5 cm.

Objective: This study aims to evaluate the difference in quality of labor analgesia delivered by epidural catheters inserted to either 4 or 5 cm into the epidural space.

This study will be conducted as an interventional double-blinded randomised control trial to establish best practice.

Description

Effective labor analgesia has been shown to improve maternal and fetal outcomes. It is of paramount importance to the obstetric anesthesiologist to optimize the quality of labor analgesia and identify any factors leading to ineffective epidural analgesia. One aspect of catheter insertion that has not been fully evaluated, and with very little recent work undertaken, is the optimal length of epidural catheter to be left in the epidural space.

Previous studies have advocated, for varying reasons, different lengths of catheter to be left in the space; these range from 2cm to 8cm. Longer epidural lengths in the space can be associated with foraminal escape, leading to unilateral block, and intravascular insertion, prompting additional manipulation. Shorter lengths have previously been associated with more frequent dislodgement. The directionality of the epidural catheter once in the space has been demonstrated to correlate with misdirection.

The aim of the study would be to standardize practice in how much epidural catheter is threaded into the epidural space.

Details
Condition Labor Pain
Treatment epidural catheter
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04946032
SponsorSamuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital
Last Modified on22 March 2022

Eligibility

Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

All women aged 18 years and above
In established second stage of labor
-7 cm dilation at time of insertion
Women with BMI < 40 kg/m2

Exclusion Criteria

Known contraindication to epidural insertion
Inability or unwillingness to provide written consent
Previous difficult epidural insertion
Previous failed epidural
Imminent instrumental or operative delivery
Dural puncture
Combined spinal epidural analgesia
High BMI > 40 kg/m2
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