Inform Your Decision. Elevate Your Game.

Automatically identify epidural location with AI-Enabled SpineNav3D™ Image Recognition and see significant bone-to-tissue contrast with Multi-Frequency BoneEnhance® Image Reconstruction.

THE CHALLENGE

Help anesthesiology providers easily locate the epidural space, especiallly when facing challenging patient anatomy such as high BMI, scoliosis, or spinal insturmentantion.

THE OUTCOME

Development of AI-enabled image recognition technology and image acquisition techniques to help providers improve localization of the desired intervertebral space for first-attempt success.

The challenge of locating an accessible epidural space in patients with difficult anatomy is fueling an image-guided shift towards AI-enabled technologies to augment spinal needle guidance procedures. The implementation of easy-to-learn, cost-effective clinician-assistance solutions, such as Accuro, can improve decision making and patient outcomes.

“As an anesthesiologist performing epidurals and spinals, we’re one of the few specialties not using imaging technology regularly to find the epidural space; this is an advancement that is due in our specialty.”

Stephen Garber MD Anesthesiologist, Medical Director Obstetric Anesthesiology Laguna Hills, CA

Case Study

Intervertebral level identification and image-guided epidural placement in parturient presenting post-trauma spinal instrumentation and scarring

A parturient with an ASA Classification of III received anesthesia consult at 25 weeks based on her obstetrician’s recommendation. The patient presented with significant neurological deficits and morbidity secondary to spinal trauma suffered at a young age during a car accident. She had a history of traumatic L1 vertebrae fracture; the postoperative status showed a right L1 laminectomy and fusion of T11-12 to L2-3. Although the instrumentation ended at L 2-3, lateral X-ray demonstrated spaces below L 2-3 were significantly compressed (Figure 1).

Zoie was told an epidural would be impossible.

The patient additionally reported severe chronic pain at the postsurgical scarring and adjacent area and palpation was therefore not practicable. Due to prior surgery and chronic pain, the patient reported significant anxiety concerning ineligibility of epidural placement.

During the consult, the patient’s lumbar spine was evaluated using the Accuro spinal navigation instrument. Based on the Accuro BoneEnhance® image and automated landmark indicators and measurements, an accessible intervertebral level for neuraxial anesthesia placement was successfully identified, presumably at the L3-L4 intervertebral level. Interlaminar space midline was identified by Accuro as substantially adjacent to postsurgical scarring (shown Figure 2). Patient was informed during consult that, based on image-guided evaluation from Accuro, successful epidural anesthesia would be possible during labor and delivery.

Accuro provided essential spinal landmark identification to aid successful neuraxial anesthesia placement.

At 38 weeks, the parturient presented to labor and delivery at Saddleback Medical Center for intended vaginal birth. Consulting obstetric anesthesiologist re-assessed the same intervertebral level using Accuro with equivalent findings to those determined at the 25-week consult. The Accuro Locator needle guide was used to mark the needle insertion site, substantially adjacent to postsurgical scarring, and the automated epidural depth reading reported by Accuro was determined. Neuraxial anesthesia was placed successfully based on the indicated needle insertion site and depth from Accuro. Patient reported low levels of pain throughout remaining labor, and delivered a healthy 7-lbs., 7-oz. newborn.

Conclusion

Neuraxial image guidance using Accuro, at both 25-week consult and during labor and delivery, provided essential spinal landmark identification to aid successful neuraxial anesthesia placement in a parturient with postoperative spinal instrumentation and significant compression. The accessible (presumablyL3-L4) intervertebral level was identified as a viable intervertebral level compared to other, more compressed or obscured, intervertebral levels with midline adjacent to postsurgical scarring.

The implementation of Accuro at the pre-procedural anesthesia consult alleviated patient anxiety and predicted eligibility and placement location for the eventual neuraxial anesthesia placement.

If every anesthesiology provider were to adopt image-guidance technology, it would allow us to elevate the global standard of care and greatly improve patient satisfaction.