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Korean J Anesthesiol. 2018 Aug;71(4):274-288. doi: 10.4097/kja.d.18.00143. Epub 2018 Jul 4.

Cervical plexus block.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Ajou University College of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
Depatment of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine,, Seoul, Korea.
Depatment of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Daejeon St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Presbyterian Medical Center, Jeonju, Korea.


Cervical plexus blocks (CPBs) have been used in various head and neck surgeries to provide adequate anesthesia and/or analgesia; however, the block is performed in a narrow space in the region of the neck that contains many sensitive structures, multiple fascial layers, and complicated innervation. Since the intermediate CPB was introduced in addition to superficial and deep CPBs in 2004, there has been some confusion regarding the nomenclature and definition of CPBs, particularly the intermediate CPB. Additionally, as the role of ultrasound in the head and neck region has expanded, CPBs can be performed more safely and accurately under ultrasound guidance. In this review, the authors will describe the methods, including ultrasound-guided techniques, and clinical applications of conventional deep and superficial CPBs; in addition, the authors will discuss the controversial issues regarding intermediate CPBs, including nomenclature and associated potential adverse effects that may often be neglected, focusing on the anatomy of the cervical fascial layers and cervical plexus. Finally, the authors will attempt to refine the classification of CPB methods based on the target compartments, which can be easily identified under ultrasound guidance, with consideration of the effects of each method of CPB.


Cervical fascia; Cervical plexus; Cervical plexus block; Phrenic nerve palsy; Ultrasonography; Airway obstruction

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