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Use of pressure waves to confirm the correct placement of epidural needles in dogs
  1. I. Iff, DrMedVet, DipECVA1,
  2. Y. Moens, ProfDrMedVet, DipECVA1 and
  3. U. Schatzmann, ProfDrMetVet, DipECVA2
  1. 1 Clinic of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Intensive Care, Clinical Department of Small Animals and Horses, Veterinary University, Veterinärplatz 1, A-1210 Vienna, Austria
  2. 2 Section of Anaesthesiology, Department for Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland


An epidural puncture was performed using the lumbosacral approach in 18 dogs, and the lack of resistance to an injection of saline was used to determine that the needle was positioned correctly. The dogs' arterial blood pressure and epidural pressure were recorded. They were randomly assigned to two groups: in one group an injection of a mixture of local anaesthetic agents was made slowly over 90 seconds and in the other it was made over 30 seconds. After 10 minutes contrast radiography was used to confirm the correct placement of the needle. The mean (sd) initial pressure in the epidural space was 0·1 (0·7) kPa. After the injection the mean maximum epidural pressure in the group injected slowly was 5·5 (2·1) kPa and in the group injected more quickly it was 6·0 (1·9) kPa. At the end of the period of measurement, the epidural pressure in the slow group was 0·8 (0·5) kPa and in the rapid group it was 0·7 (0·5) kPa. Waves synchronous with the arterial pulse wave were observed in 15 of the dogs before the epidural injection, and in all the dogs after the epidural injection.

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