(Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2016;41(2):251–260)
Using an ultrasound to examine a patient’s spine prior to the administration of spinal or epidural anesthesia is a new development in regional anesthesia. Such an examination allows anesthesiologists to observe the underlying anatomy and helps improve the accuracy of needle placement. Previous reports have described spinal and epidural techniques that use ultrasound for real-time guidance, which is distinct from this ultrasound-assisted approach. This review assessed the evidence in favor of preprocedural neuraxial ultrasound as a supplementary procedure to lumbar spinal and epidural anesthesia in adults.