Korean J Pain.  2019 Apr;32(2):129-132. 10.3344/kjp.2019.32.2.129.

Efficacy of rhomboid intercostal block for analgesia after thoracotomy

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, University of Health Sciences, Bursa Yuksek Ihtisas Training and Research Hospital, Bursa, Turkey. korgunokmen@gmail.com


Regional anesthesia, including central and plane blocks (serratus anterior plane block and erector spinae block), are used for post-thoracotomy pain. The rhomboid intercostal block (RIB) is mainly performed by injection to the upper intercostal muscle plane below the rhomboid muscle. It has been reported to provide analgesia at the T3-T9 levels. The RIB was performed on 5 patients who had been scheduled for thoracotomy. The catheter was advanced in the area under the rhomboid muscle between the intercostal muscles. Postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) scores were observed and each patient's resting VAS score remained below 3 for 48 hours. The RIB has been observed to be a convenient plane block for post-thoracotomy analgesia. We believe that further information from detailed studies is required.


Analgesia; Catheters; Fascia; Intercostal muscle; Thoracotomy; Pain management; Pain measurement; Postoperative pain; Ribs; Rhomboid major muscle; Visual analog scale

MeSH Terms

Anesthesia, Conduction
Intercostal Muscles
Pain Management
Pain Measurement
Pain, Postoperative
Visual Analog Scale


  • Fig. 1 Rhomboid intercostal block. (A) Ultrasound anatomy. (B) An ultrasound-visible block needle was inserted. (C) White stars indicate local anesthesic spread between the rhomboid major muscle and intercostal muscle. (D) White arrow indicates the catheter inserted. Color doppler imaging shows the local anesthesic spread. ICM: intercostals muscle.

  • Fig. 2 The inserted catheter and surgical field.

Cited by  1 articles

Rhomboid intercostal and subserratus plane block -a case series-
Hesham Elsharkawy, Hassan Hamadnalla, Ece Yamak Altinpulluk, Rodney A. Gabriel
Korean J Anesthesiol. 2020;73(6):550-556.    doi: 10.4097/kja.19479.


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