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Distribution of local anesthetic in axillary brachial plexus block: A clinical and magnetic resonance imaging study
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Care, Radiology. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre for Medical Imaging, Department of Radiology UHL.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7750-1917
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2002 (English)In: Anesthesiology, ISSN 0003-3022, Vol. 96, no 6, 1315-1324 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: There is an unsettled discussion about whether the distribution of local anesthetic is free or inhibited when performing brachial plexus blocks. This is the first study to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help answer this question. Methods: Thirteen patients received axillary block by a catheter-nerve stimulator technique. After locating the median nerve, a total dose of 50 ml local anesthetic was injected via the catheter in four divided doses of 1, 4, 15, and 30 ml. Results of sensory and motor testing were compared with the spread of local anesthetic as seen by MRI scans taken after each dose. The distribution of local anesthetic was described with reference to a 20-mm diameter circle around the artery. Results: Thirty minutes after the last dose, only two patients demonstrated analgesia or anesthesia in the areas of the radial, median, and ulnar nerve. At that time, eight of the patients had incomplete spread of local anesthetic around the artery, as seen by MRI. Their blocks were significantly poorer than those of the five patients with complete filling of the circle, although incomplete blocks were also present in the latter group. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that MRI is useful in examining local anesthetic distribution in axillary blocks because it can show the correlation between MRI distribution pattern and clinical effect. The cross-sectional spread of fluid around the brachial-axillary artery was often incomplete-inhibited, and the clinical effect often inadequate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 96, no 6, 1315-1324 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-27131DOI: 10.1097/00000542-200206000-00009Local ID: 11779OAI: diva2:247682
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2013-09-05

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Smedby, Örjan
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Faculty of Health SciencesRadiologyDepartment of Radiology UHL
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