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An evaluation of the supraclavicular plumb-bob technique for brachial plexus block by magnetic resonance imaging
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. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization, CMIV.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7750-1917
2003 (English)In: Anesthesia and Analgesia, ISSN 0003-2999, E-ISSN 1526-7598, Vol. 96, no 3, 862-867 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Partly based on magnetic resonance imaging studies, the "plumb-bob" approach for brachial plexus block was designed to minimize the risk of pneumothorax. Nevertheless, the risk of pneumothorax has remained a concern. We analyzed magnetic resonance images from 10 volunteers to determine whether the risk of pneumothorax was decreased with this method. The recommended initial needle direction is anteroposterior through the junction between the lateral-most part of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and the superior edge of the clavicle. If the initial placement is not successful, the brachial plexus may be sought in sectors 20░-30░ cephalad or caudad to the anteroposterior line in a sagittal plane through the insertion point. We found that the anteroposterior line reached the pleura in 6 of 10 volunteers without prior contact with the subclavian artery or the brachial plexus, but always with contact with the subclavian vein. To reach the middle of the brachial plexus, a mean cephalad redirection of the simulated needle by 21░ was required (range from 41░ cephalad to 15░ caudad in one case). We conclude that the risk of contacting the pleura and the subclavian vessels may be reduced by initially directing the needle 45░ cephalad instead of anteroposterior. If the brachial plexus is not contacted, the angle should be gradually reduced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 96, no 3, 862-867 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-27141Local ID: 11789OAI: diva2:247692
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 UHLCenter for Medical Image Science and Visualization, CMIV
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Anesthesia and Analgesia
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