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Korean Journal of Anesthesiology 2008;55(4):436-440.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4097/kjae.2008.55.4.436   
Usefulness of ultrasound-guided infraclavicular brachial plexus block: a comparison with nerve stimulation method.
Jeong Uk Han, Jong Kwon Jung, Hyun Kyoung Lim, Jae Hak Lee, Chu Hwan Seo, Helen Ki Shinn
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea. helen318@medimail.co.kr
Recently, ultrasound guidance in clinical procedures including brachial plexus block has gained popularity. This method has been considered to be an efficient and a useful method with real-time visualization. Many reports have showed the usefulness of ultrasound-guided brachial plexus block. We evaluated the usefulness of ultrasound guidance in infraclavicular brachial plexus block compared with nerve stimulation.
Thirty patients were randomized into two groups of US group (ultrasound-guided block) and NS group (nerve stimulation). Blocks were performed with mepivacaine 2% and bupivacaine 0.5% with epinephrine 1:200,000 (total volume 40 ml). Block execution time, onset time, success rate, patient's discomfort and complications were measured and statistically evaluated for the comparison.
Block execution time were 88.3 +/- 48.1 sec in US group and 172.7 +/- 103.1 sec in group NS, respectively (P = 0.017). Onset time were 16.0 +/- 6.9 min and 17.7 +/- 7.8 min (P = 0.434). Success rates were 93.3% and 80.0% (P = 0.283). Patient's discomfort was not significantly different. Pain in patients with fractured arm was significantly lower in US group (P = 0.004).
An ultrasound-guided infraclavicular brachial plexus block is useful with less time consumption and less discomfort in patients with fracture of arm. Success rate and onset time were acceptable.
Key Words: brachial plexus block; infraclavicular block; nerve stimulation; ultrasound


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