Single vs. double stimulation during a lateral sagittal infraclavicular block

E Akyildiz, Y Gürkan, C Cağlayan, M Solak, K Toker
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 2009, 53 (10): 1262-7

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of single vs. dual control during an ultrasound-guided lateral sagittal infraclavicular block on the efficacy of sensory block and the time of block onset.

METHODS: In a prospective manner, 60 adult patients scheduled for distal upper limb surgery were randomly allocated to single (Group S) or double stimulation (Group D) groups. A local anesthetic (LA) mixture of 20 ml of levobupivacaine 5 mg/ml and 20 ml of lidocaine 20 mg/ml with 5 microg/ml epinephrine (total 40 ml) was administered in both groups. In the Group S following a median, an ulnar or a radial nerve response, the entire LA was administered at a single site. In Group D 10 ml of LA was administered following the electrolocation of the musculocutaneous nerve and 30 ml LA was injected following median, ulnar or radial nerves. A successful block was defined as analgesia or anesthesia of all five nerves distal to the elbow. Sensory and motor blocks were tested at 5-min intervals for 30 min.

RESULTS: The block was successful in 27 patients in Group S and 28 patients in Group D. The time from starting the block until satisfactory anesthesia was significantly shorter in Group D than in Group S (19.3 vs. 23.2 min) (P<0.05). Total sensory scores were significantly higher in the double stimulation group at 20 and 30 min after the block performance (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Although the block performance time was longer in the double stimulation group, block onset time and extent of anesthesia were more favorable in the double stimulation group.

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