Brachial plexus anaesthesia in children: lateral infraclavicular vs axillary approach

E Fleischmann, P Marhofer, M Greher, B Waltl, C Sitzwohl, S Kapral
Paediatric Anaesthesia 2003, 13 (2): 103-8

BACKGROUND: Brachial plexus blockade is a well-established technique in upper-limb surgery. In paediatric patients, the axillary route is usually preferred to infraclavicular approaches because of safety considerations. Recent reports on a lateral infraclavicular approach offering greater safety in adults prompted us to perform a prospective randomized study to assess the analgesic efficacy of axillary vs lateral vertical infraclavicular brachial plexus (LVIBP) blocks in paediatric trauma surgery.

METHODS: Forty paediatric trauma patients (ASA physical status I and II, age range 1-10 years) scheduled for forearm or hand surgery were randomly assigned to either axillary brachial plexus (ABP group) or LVIBP group blocks using 0.5 ropivacaine 0.5%. Sensory blockade was evaluated by a visual analogue score and Vester-Andersen's criteria, the distribution of sensory and motor blockade was evaluated by a simplified pinprick test and motor tests.

RESULTS: In the LVIBP group, Vester-Andersen's criteria were met by 100% of children, compared with 80% in the ABP group (P=0.035). Based on all assessable children, sensory blockade in the primary sensory regions of various nerves was significantly more effective in the LVIBP group (axillary: P < 0.0001; musculocutaneous: P=0.002; medial brachial cutaneous; P=0.008). Motor blockade was also significantly more effective (axillary: P < 0.0001; musculocutaneous: P=0.003). No major complications were observed in either group.

DISCUSSION: We conclude that LVIBP blocks can be safely performed in children and that they add to the spectrum of sensory and motor blockade seen with the axillary approach.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"