Skip to Main Content


Thoracic paravertebral block (TPVB) is the technique of injecting local anesthetic alongside the thoracic vertebral body close to where the spinal nerves emerge from the intervertebral foramen. This produces unilateral (ipsilateral), segmental, somatic, and sympathetic nerve blockade in multiple contiguous thoracic dermatomes, 1,2 which is effective for managing acute and chronic pain of unilateral origin from the thorax and abdomen. 2 TPVB can also be used for surgical anesthesia in patients undergoing inguinal herniorrhaphy 3 and breast surgery 46 with improved postoperative outcomes. 2,5 TPVB is traditionally performed using surface anatomical landmarks. 2 Recently there has been an increase in interest in the use of ultrasound for peripheral nerve blocks, 79 including TPVB. 1018 However, published data on ultrasound-guided (USG) TPVB are limited. 1020 This chapter describes the sonoanatomy relevant for USG TPVB.


The thoracic paravertebral space (TPVS) is a wedge-shaped space 2,21 that lies on either side of the vertebral column (Fig. 11–1). It is wider on the left than on the right. 22 The parietal pleura forms the anterolateral boundary. The base is formed by the vertebral body, intervertebral disc, and the intervertebral foramen with its contents (Fig. 11–1). 21,23 The superior costotransverse ligament (SCTL), which extends from the lower border of the transverse process above to the upper border of the transverse process below (Figs. 11–2 and 11–4), forms the posterior wall of the TPVS. Also interposed between two transverse processes is the intertransverse ligament (Figs. 11–2 and 11–4). The SCTL is continuous laterally with the internal intercostal membrane, which is the medial extension of the internal intercostal muscle, medial to the angle of the rib (Fig. 11–4). The apex of the TPVS is continuous with the posterior intercostal space lateral to the tips of the transverse processes (Fig. 11–4). 21,23


Transverse anatomy of the thoracic paravertebral region.


Sagittal anatomy of the thoracic paravertebral region.


Paravertebral ligaments relevant for thoracic paravertebral block.


Anatomy of the thoracic paravertebral region showing the various paravertebral ligaments and their anatomical relationship to the thoracic paravertebral space.

Interposed between the parietal pleura anteriorly and the superior costotransverse ligament posteriorly is a fibroelastic structure, 24 the “endothoracic fascia” 2530 (Figs. 11–1 and 11–2), which is the deep fascia of the thorax 2,2527 and lines the internal aspect ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.