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Korean J Anesthesiol. 2013 Apr;64(4):327-333. English. Original Article.
Trabelsi W , Amor MB , Lebbi MA , Romdhani C , Dhahri S , Ferjani M .
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Tunisian Military Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia.

BACKGROUND: Infraclaviculr Brachial plexus (ICBP) block is useful for upper extremity surgery. The aim of this study was to compare the ultrasound (US) technique with the nerve stimulation (NS) technique in their success rates and times to perform ICBP block. METHODS: 60 patients undergoing surgery of the upper limb were randomly allocated into two groups (n = 30 per group). Group 1; US, and Group 2; NS. Procedure time (including time for initial ultrasound examination), the success rate and the onset time of sensory and motor blockade were assessed. RESULTS: The time needed to perform the ICBP block is similar in both groups (220 seconds +/- 130 in US group versus 281 +/- 134 seconds in NS group; P = 0.74). The success rate of all the nerve blocks in the US group was 100%. The success rate in the NS group was 73.3%, 76.7%, 76.7% and 100% for radial, ulnar, medial, and musculocutaneous nerve, respectively. A significantly faster onset of sensory block for the radial, ulnar, median, musculocutaneous, and the four nerves considered together were observed. The onset of motor block for the radial, ulnar, and medial nerves was faster in the US group. However, the onset of motor block for the musculocutaneous nerve and the four nerves considered together was comparable between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: The ultrasound-guided infraclavicular brachial plexus block is a significantly efficacious method with faster onset but similar procedure time compared to the nerve stimulation technique.

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