Rectus Sheath Block in Abdominal Surgery: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis

Yerkin Abdildin, Karina Tapinova, Azamat Salamat, Ramazan Shaimakhanov, Alisher Aitbayev, Dmitriy Viderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: With the development of ultrasound-guided and laparoscopic techniques of rectus sheath block (RSB), regional analgesia promises to be efficient and safe. However, studies show controversial results. Our systematic review with meta-analysis aims to evaluate the effect of rectus sheath block in abdominal surgery.

METHOD: We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Library from inception to October 2021 for randomised controlled trials written in English. We included studies on adult populations undergoing abdominal surgery. The primary outcomes of our meta-analysis were postoperative pain intensity and postoperative opioid consumption. Data analysis was conducted using the Review Manager software (RevMan, v. 5.4). Statistical heterogeneity was estimated by the I 2 statistic. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed using the Oxford quality scoring system (Jadad Scale).

RESULTS: Eight randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in English with a total of 386 patients were included in this meta-analysis. Patients in the RSB group did not consume fewer anaesthetics and opioids after abdominal surgery when compared with patients in the control group. In addition, postoperative pain intensity (out of 10) was not lower in the RSB group when compared with the control group. Finally, RSB did not improve the time to the first opioid/analgesic (min) compared with the non-RSB option.

CONCLUSION: There is no statistically significant evidence in favour of RSB over non-RSB in reducing anaesthetics and opioid consumption, postoperative pain intensity, and increasing time to first opioid/analgesic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalRomanian Journal of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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