To evaluate the analgesic effect of ultrasound-guided subcostal anterior quadratus lumborum block (QLB) for laparoscopic radical gastrectomy surgery.
Patients (aged 20-65 years, ASA I – II, and weighing 40-75 kg) scheduled for elective laparoscopic radical gastrectomy were enrolled in the current study. Sixty patients were randomly assigned to two groups by computer-generated randomization codes: an ultrasound-guided oblique subcostal transversus abdominis plane block (TAPB) group (group T, n=30) or an ultrasound-guided subcostal anterior QLB group (group Q, n=30). In both groups, bilateral ultrasound-guided oblique subcostal TAPB and subcostal anterior QLB were performed before general anesthesia with 0.25% ropivacaine 0.5 mL/kg. For postoperative management, all patients received patient-controlled intravenous analgesia (PCIA) with nalbuphine and sufentanil after surgery, maintaining visual analogue scale (VAS) scores ≤4 within 48 h. The intraoperative consumption of remifentanil, the requirement for sufentanil as a rescue analgesic, and the VAS scores at rest and coughing were recorded at 1, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h after surgery. The recovery (extubation time after surgery, first ambulation time, first flatus time and length of postoperative hospital stay) and the adverse events (nausea and vomiting, skin pruritus, respiratory depression and nerve-block related complications) were observed and recorded. The primary outcome was the perioperative consumption of opioids.
Compared with group T, the intraoperative consumption of remifentanil, requirement for sufentanil and the frequency of PCIA were reduced in group Q. Meanwhile, VAS scores at all points of observation were significantly lower in group Q than in group T. Patients in group Q were also associated with shorter time to first out-of-bed activity and flatus, and shorter length of postoperative hospital stay than group T (P<0.05). There were no skin pruritus, respiratory depression or nerve-block related complications in both groups.
Compared with ultrasound-guided oblique subcostal TAPB, ultrasound-guided subcostal anterior QLB provided greater opioid-sparing effect, lower visual analogue scores, and shorter postoperative hospital stay for laparoscopic radical gastrectomy.

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