Extrafascial injection for interscalene brachial plexus block reduces respiratory complications compared with a conventional intrafascial injection: a randomized, controlled, double-blind trial.Br J Anaesth. 2016 Apr; 116(4):531-7.BJ
Hemidiaphragmatic paresis after ultrasound-guided interscalene brachial plexus block is reported to occur in up to 100% of patients. We tested the hypothesis that an injection lateral to the brachial plexus sheath reduces the incidence of hemidiaphragmatic paresis compared with a conventional intrafascial injection, while providing similar analgesia.
Forty ASA I-III patients undergoing elective shoulder and clavicle surgery under general anaesthesia were randomized to receive an ultrasound-guided interscalene brachial plexus block for analgesia, using 20 ml bupivacaine 0.5% with epinephrine 1:200 000 injected either between C5 and C6 within the interscalene groove (conventional intrafascial injection), or 4 mm lateral to the brachial plexus sheath (extrafascial injection). The primary outcome was incidence of hemidiaphragmatic paresis (diaphragmatic excursion reduction >75%), measured by M-mode ultrasonography, before and 30 min after the procedure. Secondary outcomes were forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and peak expiratory flow. Additional outcomes included time to first opioid request and pain scores at 24 h postoperatively (numeric rating scale, 0-10).
The incidences of hemidiaphragmatic paresis were 90% (95% CI: 68-99%) and 21% (95% CI: 6-46%) in the conventional and extrafascial injection groups, respectively (P<0.0001). Other respiratory outcomes were significantly better preserved in the extrafascial injection group. The mean time to first opioid request was similar between groups (conventional: 802 min [95% CI: 620-984 min]; extrafascial: 973 min [95% CI: 791-1155 min]; P=0.19) as were pain scores at 24 h postoperatively (conventional: 1.6 [95% CI: 0.9-2.2]; extrafascial: 1.6 [95% CI: 0.8-2.4]; P=0.97).
Ultrasound-guided interscalene brachial plexus block with an extrafascial injection reduces the incidence of hemidiaphragmatic paresis and impact on respiratory function while providing similar analgesia, when compared with a conventional injection.
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