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Anesth Analg. 2012 May;114(5):1131-3. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182498643. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

The emergence level of the musculocutaneous nerve from the brachial plexus: implications for infraclavicular nerve blocks.

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1
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Toulouse University Hospital, Toulouse, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In this cadaveric study we assessed the level of the emergence of the musculocutanous nerve (MCN) relative to needle insertion site during infraclavicular block.

METHODS:

Forty brachial plexi from 20 embalmed adult cadavers were dissected. The MCN was exposed from its origin on the lateral cord to its penetration into the coracobrachialis muscle. The point of emergence of the MCN from the lateral cord relative to a line drawn directly caudad from the anteromedial tip of the coracoid process was measured. A needle was placed predissection using our previously described technique, and the distance from the needletip to the emergence of the MCN was measured.

RESULTS:

MCN often emerged distal to the coracoid process. At the needle insertion site, 80% of MCN had already emerged from the lateral cord. The distance of emergence ranged from 8.5 cm proximal to 12 cm distal to the coracoid process.

CONCLUSION:

This anatomical study suggests that MCN may be one of the factors explaining MCN block failure for the single-injection technique of infraclavicular block using lateral needle trajectory.

PMID:
22312122
DOI:
10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182498643
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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