Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The Role of a Preprocedure Systematic Sonographic Survey in Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia
  1. Baskar P. Manickam, M.D., F.R.C.A.,
  2. Anahi Perlas, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.,
  3. Vincent W.S. Chan, M.D., F.R.C.P.C. and
  4. Richard Brull, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.
  1. Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Background and Objectives: The presence of neurovascular abnormalities may increase the risk of complications following regional anesthesia techniques. Use of conventional nerve localization methods may fail to detect such abnormalities and potentially result in block failure and/or unintentional neurovascular injury.

Methods: We use 2 examples to illustrate this, and the concept that systematic use of a preprocedure ultrasound (US) scan may serve as an aid both for diagnosis of abnormal anatomy, and in planning the appropriate anesthetic technique.

Results: Use of a preprocedure US scan helped to diagnose abnormal anatomy and assisted in planning a more appropriate anesthetic technique.

Conclusions: We believe that a systematic sonographic survey prior to regional anesthesia can be a valuable bedside screening tool to assess the suitability and challenges involved in performing US-guided peripheral nerve block.

  • Ultrasound
  • Regional anesthesia
  • Nerve block
  • Survey

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, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, 399 Bathurst Street, Toronto M5T 2S8, Ontario, Canada. E-mail: richard.brull{at}