Risk of rectal puncture due to needle entry into the presacral space: Importance of measuring the distance between the rectum and sacrococcyx, and the thickness of the sacrococcyx

Young Suk Kwon, Narea Lee, Ho Seok Lee, Eun Ji Youn, Soo Kyung Lee, Youngmi Kim, Jae Jun Lee
Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 July 10, 99 (28): e20935
During ganglion impar block, the needle may approach the presacral space and the sacrum may be penetrated during caudal anesthesia. Because the rectum is in front of the sacrococcyx and is thus at risk for puncture, it is important to determine the distance between the sacrococcyx and rectum, as well as the thickness of the sacrococcyx.Computed tomography was used to measure the distance between the rectum and sacrococcyx, as well as the thickness of the sacrococcyx. The distances between the coccyx and rectum, sacrococcygeal joint and rectum, sacral level 5 ('sacrum 5') and rectum, and 'sacrum 4 to 5 junction' and rectum were measured. The results were compared based on the presence or absence of stools in the rectum. The thickness of the sacrococcyx was measured at the sacrum 4 to 5 junction and sacrococcygeal joint.In total, 1264 patients were included in this study. All distances were less than 1 mm in both males and females, with the exception of the distance between the coccyx and rectum in males. In both males and females, there was no significant difference in distance between the sacrococcyx and rectum according to the presence or absence of feces in the rectum, but there was a difference in the distance between sacrum 5 and the rectum in males (P = .048). Several male and female patients showed thicknesses of less than 5 mm at the sacrococcygeal joint.Some patients have a distance of less than 1 mm between the sacrum and rectum. Practitioners should exercise caution when applying a needle to the presacral space. If the sacrum is accidentally penetrated during caudal block, rectum puncture cannot be ruled out. Excretion of feces does not influence the distance between the sacrococcyx and rectum in females.

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