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Agri. 2019 Apr;31(2):79-85. doi: 10.5505/agri.2018.44827.

[The use of neurostimulation with ultrasound-guided brachial plexus block: Does it increase success?]

[Article in Turkish]

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Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Antalya Training and Research Hospital, Antalya, Turkey.
Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine, Antalya, Turkey.



Infraclavicular brachial plexus blockade is an anesthetic technique used for operations of the hand, wrist, and elbow. Ultrasound (US)-guidance is a recent addition to the surgical technique. The aim of this study was to compare the use of US alone and US with a nerve stimulator in an infraclavicular brachial plexus blockade in terms of the performance time, successful blockade rate, and the quality of sensory block.


A total of 40 patients who were scheduled for hand, wrist, or elbow surgery were included in the study. The patients were divided into 2 groups: US and USSS (ultrasonography + neurostimulation). A dose of 40 mL, containing 100 mg bupivacaine and 200 mg prilocaine was administered with the guidance of US or USSS in the infraclavicular regions. Performance time was measured and recorded. Motor and sensory blockade was assessed within 30 minutes after the block.


The mean performance time for Group US and Group USSS was 6.68+-0.75 and 6.9+-1.02 minutes, respectively, without significant difference between groups (p>0.05, p=0.62, respectively). A complete blockade was seen in 16/20 patients in Group US and in 14/20 patients in Group USSS in 20 minutes, which did not yield a significant difference. During the surgery, local anesthetic infiltration was required in 2/20 patients in Group US and in 1/20 patients in Group USSS.


The results of this study revealed no additional benefit to USSS in block success in comparison with US alone. Considering the feeling of discomfort and pain due to nerve stimulation, it was concluded that use of US alone may be preferred to combination use.

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