Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Ultrasound-Guided Brachial Plexus Block in a Patient With Multiple Glomangiomatosis
  1. Edel Duggan, M.B., F.C.A.R.C.S.I.,
  2. Richard Brull, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.,
  3. Jacob Lai, M.D., F.R.C.P.C. and
  4. Sherif Abbas, M.D.
  1. Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, Toronto Western Hospital University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Background and Objectives: Glomangiomas are rare, vascular tumors consisting of an afferent artery, arteriovenous canal, neuro-reticular elements, collagen, and efferent veins, and are most often located in the soft tissue of the upper extremities. We describe how the use of ultrasound-guided nerve blockade altered the anesthetic management of a patient with multiple glomangiomatosis undergoing elective forearm surgery.

Ultrasound Findings: A 32-year-old man was scheduled for excision of painful glomangiomas from the ulnar aspect of his right wrist, with exploration of his ulnar nerve. The anesthetic concerns included (1) morbid obesity, (2) chronic pain syndrome and opioid intolerance, (3) a potentially difficult airway, and (4) obstructive sleep apnea. Ultrasound-guided supraclavicular blockade was the proposed anesthetic of choice. Ultrasound scan of the supraclavicular fossa revealed numerous vascular lesions surrounding the divisions of the brachial plexus. Color Doppler imaging confirmed these pulsatile lesions to be vascular in origin. Even under two-dimensional ultrasound guidance, we believed that the risk of vascular puncture and unintentional intravascular injection of local anesthetic was high, and therefore we abandoned the supraclavicular approach. A successful ultrasound-guided axillary brachial plexus blockade was performed uneventfully.

Conclusions: Although multiple glomangiomatosis is a rare disease, this case illustrates the invaluable contribution that ultrasound has made to modern, regional anesthetic practice, especially for patients with aberrant anatomy in whom traditional nerve-localization techniques could result in serious complications.

  • Brachial plexus
  • Glomangioma
  • Regional anesthesia
  • Ultrasound

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Reprint requests: Richard Brull, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, Toronto Western Hospital University Health Network, 399 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ontario M5T 2S8, Canada. E-mail: richard.brull{at}