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Development and evaluation of a score to predict difficult epidural placement during labor.

Abstract : BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Difficult epidural placement (DEP) during labor may be distressing for the patient and may increase the risk of dural puncture. A score predicting DEP based on the combination of individual risk factors could identify high-risk patients. This study aimed to identify risk factors for DEP and build a prediction score. METHODS: Three hundred thirty patients were prospectively included. Difficult epidural placement was defined as more than 1 skin puncture with a Tuohy needle. Dura puncture occurrence was recorded. The population was randomly split into a training set and a validation set. In the training set, risk factors were identified with logistic regression and used to build a score defining 3 risk groups. Model and score discrimination was assessed with the C-index and clinical usefulness of the score with decision curves. RESULTS: Difficult epidural placement frequency was 30% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 25%-35%). Dural puncture was more frequent in DEP patients (4% vs 0%, P = 0.007). Three independent risk factors for DEP were identified: difficult interspinous space palpation (odds ratio [OR], 6.1; 95% CI, 2.8-13.9), spinal deformity (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.1-5.3), and inability to flex the back (OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.2-7.8). The C-index of the model was 0.81 (95% CI, 0.74-0.88) in the training set and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.70-0.86) in the validation set. A 5-point score was created to define groups with low risk (score 0), intermediate risk (score 1-2), and high risk (score 3-4), with predicted rates of DEP of 9.7%, 30.3%, and 68.9%, respectively. The C-index of the score was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.72-0.86) in the training set and 0.76 (95% CI, 0.69-0.84) in the validation set. Decision curves support the clinical usefulness of the score. CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms risk factors for DEP and proposes a score to predict DEP. The score identifies high-risk patients who may benefit from an intervention to decrease DEP. This hypothesis should be evaluated in an impact study.
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Jean Guglielminotti, France Mentré, Ennoufous Bedairia, Philippe Montravers, Dan Longrois. Development and evaluation of a score to predict difficult epidural placement during labor.. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2013, 38 (3), pp.233-8. ⟨10.1097/AAP.0b013e31828887a6⟩. ⟨inserm-00847848⟩

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