Ultrasound assessment of the anatomic landmarks for spinal anesthesia in elderly patients with hip fracture: A prospective observational study

Hyerim Kim, Dongwook Won, Jee Eun Chang, Jung Man Lee, Jung Hee Ryu, Seong Won Min, Kwanghoon Jun, Hyung Sang Row, Jin Young Hwang

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Tuffier line is a common landmark for spinal anesthesia. The 10th rib line has been suggested as a new landmark to predict the intervertebral levels. We evaluated the accuracy of these 2 anatomic landmarks for identifying the L4-L5 intervertebral space using ultrasonography in elderly patients with hip fracture.Seventy-nine elderly patients scheduled for hip fracture surgery under spinal anesthesia were included. In the lateral decubitus position with the fracture side up, the L4-L5 intervertebral space was identified alternately using Tuffier line, a line drawn between the highest points of both iliac crests, and the 10th rib line. The 10th rib line, an imaginary line that joints the 2 lowest points of the rib cage, passes through the L1-L2 intervertebral space or the body of L2. The L4-L5 intervertebral space was determined by the counting-down method from the 10th rib line. Then, the estimated intervertebral spaces were evaluated using ultrasonography.The L4-L5 intervertebral space was correctly identified in 47 (59%) patients with Tuffier line and 45 (57%) patients with the 10th rib line (P = .87). The estimation ratio related to the intervertebral levels was not different between the 2 landmarks (P = .40). The wrong identifications of intervertebral level with Tuffier line and the 10th rib line was observed in the following order: L3-L4 intervertebral space: 27% vs 24%, L5-S1 intervertebral space: 9% vs 16%, and L2-L3 intervertebral space: 5% vs 3%, respectively.Tuffier line and the 10th rib line may be unreliable to estimate the intervertebral space for spinal anesthesia in elderly patients with hip fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e16388
Issue number27
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019


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