Infraclavicular brachial plexus block: Parasagittal anatomy important to the coracoid technique

Jack L. Wilson, David L. Brown, Gilbert Y. Wong, Richard L. Ehman, Donald R. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infraclavicular brachial plexus block is a technique well suited to prolonged continuous catheter use. We used a coracoid approach to this block to create an easily understood technique. We reviewed the magnetic resonance images of the brachial plexus from 20 male and 20 female patients. Using scout films, the parasagittal section 2 cm medial to the coracoid process was identified. Along this oblique section, we located a point approximately 2 cm caudad to the coracoid process on the skin of the anterior chest wall. From this point, we determined simulated needle direction to contact the neurovascular bundle and measured depth. At the skin entry site, the direct posterior insertion of a needle will make contact with the cords of the brachial plexus where they surround the second part of the axillary artery in all images. The mean (range) distance (depth along the needle shaft) from the skin to the anterior wall of the axillary artery was 4.24 ± 1.49 cm (2.25- 7.75 cm) in men and 4.01 ± 1.29 cm (2.25-6.5 cm) in women. Hopefully, this study will facilitate the use of this block. Implications: We sought a consistent, palpable landmark for facilitation of the infraclavicular brachial plexus block. We used magnetic resonance images of the brachial plexus to determine the depth and needle orientation needed to contact the brachial plexus. Hopefully, this study will facilitate the use of this block.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)870-873
Number of pages4
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Volume87
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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