TOPIC 2: Thoracic Epidural and Paravertebral Blocks In reducing CPTP

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    A Randomised Controlled Trial to investigate the effectiveness of ThOracic Epidural and Paravertebral Blockade In reducing Chronic Post- Thoracotomy Pain: 2



  • Contact name

    Fang Gao Smith

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Birmingham

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    4 years, 5 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    An estimated 7200 thoracotomies (surgical incision into the chest wall) are performed annually in the UK, most commonly to treat lung cancer. It is considered one of the most painful surgical procedures due to tissue, muscle and nerve damage from the incision, and as the wound heals. The normal breathing motion and nerve injury caused during surgery can result in a high risk of persistent pain for months after surgery. Chronic post-thoracotomy pain (CPTP) is defined as pain that recurs or persists at least two months following the surgery and can occur in up to half of these patients

    There are two commonly used for pain control during thoracotomy: Thoracic Epidural Block (TEB) blocks nerves on both sides of the chest at the spinal cord. It reduces painful nerve signals but may not abolish them completely. Para Vertebral Blockade is done only on the side of surgery and may completely block painful nerve signals from reaching the spinal cord. This total blockade of nerve signals could decrease the likelihood of developing chronic pain and could be uniquely effective in preventing long-term pain.

    Over a period of 30 months this trial will be attempting to approach all patients undergoing a thoracotomy at approximately 20 UK hospitals to see if they wish to participate, and to look at the reasons they may not want to participate. We will follow up each participant for a maximum of a year following their surgery.

    There is a qualitative intervention embedded within this study to support recruitment.

  • REC name

    South East Scotland REC 01

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    8 Nov 2018

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion

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