COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Ultrasonography of the brachial plexus, normal appearance and practical applications

F Lapegue, M Faruch-Bilfeld, X Demondion, C Apredoaei, M A Bayol, H Artico, H Chiavassa-Gandois, J-J Railhac, N Sans
Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging 2014, 95 (3): 259-75
24603038
Ultrasound examination of the brachial plexus, although at first sight difficult, is perfectly feasible with fairly rapid practical and theoretical training. The roots are accurately identified due to the shape (a single tubercle) of the transverse process of C7 in the paravertebral space, and the superficial position of C5 in the interscalene groove. The téléphérique technique allows the roots, trunks and cords to be followed easily into the supraclavicular fossa. In just a few years, ultrasound imaging of the plexus has become a routine anesthesia examination for guiding nerve blocks. In trained hands, it also provides information in thoracic outlet syndromes, traumatic conditions (particularly for postganglionic lesions) and tumoral diseases. Even if MRI remains the standard examination in these indications, ultrasound, with its higher definition and dynamic character, is an excellent additional method which is still under-exploited.

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