Does neuraxial anesthesia reduce intraoperative blood loss?. A meta-analysis

Jeffrey M. Richman, Andrew J. Rowlingson, David N. Maine, Genevieve E. Courpas, James F. Weller, Christopher L. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To perform a meta-analysis of available randomized controlled trials to determine if neuraxial anesthesia would decrease blood loss, compared with general anesthesia. Design: Retrospective analysis. Setting: University medical center. Measurements: The National Library of Medicine's PubMed database was searched from the period of 1966 to December 10, 2003 for all abstracts containing words related to neuraxial anesthesia and general anesthesia. The search was limited to randomized controlled trials and the English language and yielded 667 articles. Main Results: A total of 66 articles met inclusion criteria and were used for the analysis. Overall, the use of spinal anesthesia resulted in significantly less estimated blood loss (EBL) (P < 0.0001), compared with epidural anesthesia (EA), which, in turn, resulted in significantly less EBL compared with general anesthesia (GA) or combined GA-EA (P < 0.0001). No significant difference between GA and GA-EA was noted when analysis was limited to studies directly comparing GA-EA and GA. Conclusions: Use of spinal anesthesia or EA is associated with a significant decrease in EBL when compared with that for GA or combined GA-EA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-435
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Anesthesia
  • Blood loss
  • Epidural
  • General
  • Meta-analysis
  • Neuraxial
  • Regional
  • Spinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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