Due to the high rates of epidural failure (3–32%), novel techniques are required to objectively assess the successfulness of an epidural block. In this study we therefore investigated whether thermographic temperature measurements have a higher predictive value for a successful epidural block when compared to the cold sensation test as gold standard. Epidural anesthesia was induced in 61 patients undergoing elective abdominal, thoracic or orthopedic surgery. A thermographic picture was recorded at 5, 10 and 15 min following epidural anesthesia induction. After 15 min a cold sensation test was performed. Epidural anesthesia is associated with a decrease in skin temperature. Thermography predicts a successful epidural block with a sensitivity of 54% and a PPV of 92% and a specificity of 67% and a NPV of 17%. The cold sensation test shows a higher sensitivity and PPV than thermography (97 and 93%), but a lower specificity and NPV than thermography (25 and 50%). Thermographic temperature measurements can be used as an additional and objective method for the assessment of the effectiveness of an epidural block next to the cold sensation test, but have a low sensitivity and negative predictive value. The local decrease in temperature as observed in our study during epidural anesthesia is mainly attributed to a core-to-peripheral redistribution of body heat and vasodilation.