Background and Aims The Erector Spinae Plane Block (ESPB) and the Serratus Anterior Plane Block (SAPB) are potential options for surgeries in the thorax. This study aims to compare the efficacy and safety between them.
Methods PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane were searched for RCTs comparing the ESPB to the SAPB. The outcomes included opioid consumption intraoperatively and in the first 24 h, pain scores, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), and block-related complications incidences. RevMan 5.4 analyzed data and sensitivity analysis was conducted by systematically removing each study. (PROSPERO – CRD42023415421)
Results The study analyzed six RCTs with 405 patients, 50% underwent ESPB. Intraoperative opioid consumption was significantly lower in the ESPB group (figure 1). No significant differences were found in pain scores at rest or movement at 2h (MD4 -0.28; 95% CI -1.01 to 0.44; p=0.44 and MD -0.14; 95% CI -0.54 to 0.27; p=0.51) and 12h (MD -0.15; 95% CI -0.53 to 0.22; p=0.43 and MD -0.55; 95% CI -1.24 to 0.14; p=0.12). However, at 24h, there were significantly lower pain scores for the ESPB group when in movement (figure 3) and overall block-related complications, there were no significant differences. Sensitivity analysis did not change the overall conclusion in any of the outcomes evaluated.
Conclusions Our findings suggest that ESPB may be more effective than SAPB for thoracic surgeries, although the safety profile is similar.