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Interscalene Approach to the Brachial Plexus: Paresthesiae Versus Nerve Stimulator
  1. Deborah A. McClain, MD* and
  2. Brendan T. Finucane, MD, FFARCS, FRCPC
  1. From the Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
  2. * Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia, Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia.
  3. Professor of Anesthesia, Emory University School of Medicine. Chief of Anesthesia, Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia.


Thirty-eight patients (ASA class I-III), scheduled for hand or forearm surgery, were randomly assigned to either the paresthesia or nerve stimulator group. After injection of 5.5 mg/kg of 1% mepivacaine, motor and sensory function was evaluated by testing over the distribution of the three major nerve trunks in the hand. The results showed that the overall success rate in the paresthesia group, when paresthesia could be elicited, was 82%. The success rate in the stimulator group was 75%. There was no statistical difference between the two groups. It appears that both techniques are equally effective and predictable.

  • Brachial plexus block
  • Interscalene block
  • Paresthesia
  • Nerve stimulator
  • Upper extremity block
  • Mepivacaine

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