Editor-in-Chief: Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD, PhD
BACKGROUND: The erector spinae plane (ESP) block is a novel technique that allows for acute and chronic pain control in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions. The authors seek to explore the application of the thoracic-level ESP block in treating cancer-associated thoracic pain.
CASE REPORTS: All of the patient charts from a US cancer clinic were reviewed. Patients with a diagnosis of thoracic pain who received an ESP block were selected. In our case reports, 2 of the patients who underwent an ESP block had a pulmonary lobectomy and the other 2 patients had metastases to their ribs and lungs. In all of the patients, the single-level ESP block was performed under ultrasound guidance. The patients who received an ESP block for chronic thoracic pain reported effective analgesia after the procedure.
CONCLUSION: The authors conclude that ESP blocks can potentially be used to treat cancer-associated thoracic pain; however, further studies are needed.
KEY WORDS: Intractable pain, erector spinae block, loval anesthesia, regional anesthesia, cancer, evidence-based medicine, nerve block