Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Original investigation

Minimum effective concentration of ropivacaine for ultrasound-guided transmuscular quadratus lumborum block in total hip arthroplasty: a randomized clinical trial

Jian Hu, Xingcheng Li, Qiuru Wang, Jing Yang

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This trial aimed to identify the Minimum Effective Concentration (MEC90, defined as the concentration which can provide successful block in 90% of patients) of 30 mL ropivacaine for single-shot ultrasound-guided transmuscular Quadratus Lumborum Block (QLB) in patients undergoing Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA).


A double-blind, randomized dose-finding study using the biased coin design up-and-down sequential method, where the concentration of local anesthetic administered to each patient depended on the response from the previous one. Block success was defined as a Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) score during motion ≤ 3 at 6 hours after arrival in the ward. If the block was successful, the next subject received either a 0.025% smaller dose (probability of 0.11) or the same dose (probability of 0.89); otherwise, the next subject received a 0.025% higher ropivacaine concentration. MEC90, MEC95 and MEC99 were estimated by isotonic regression, and the corresponding 95% Confidence Intervals (95% CIs) were calculated by the bootstrapping method.


Based on the analysis of 52 patients, MEC90, MEC95, and MEC99 of ropivacaine for QLB were estimated to be 0.352% (95% CI 0.334–0.372%), 0.363% (95% CI 0.351–0.383%), and 0.373% (95% CI 0.363–0.386%). The concentration of ropivacaine at 0.352% in a volume of 30 ml can provide a successful block in 90% of patients.


For ultrasound-guided transmuscular QLB in patients undergoing THA, 0.352% ropivacaine in a volume of 30 ml can provide a successful block in 90% of patients. Further dose-finding studies and large sample size are required to verify the concentration.


Analgesia Ropivacaine Nerve block Drug dose-response relationship Total hip arthroplasty
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