[Comparison of transarterial and multiple nerve stimulation techniques for axillary block using lidocaine with epinephrine.].
ABSTRACT High-dose transarterial technique results in highly effective axillary block. The multiple nerve stimulation technique (MNS) requires more time and experience. This prospective study aimed at comparing onset and success rate of multiple-injection axillary brachial plexus block using two methods of nerve location: transarterial or multiple nerve stimulation technique.
Axillary block was initially induced with 800 mg lidocaine with epinephrine. The transarterial group received deeply injected 30 mL of 1.6% lidocaine with epinephrine, and 20 mL superficially to the axillary artery. For the multiple nerve stimulation group, three terminal motor nerves were electrolocated and blocked with 20 mL, 20 mL and 10 mL. Blockade was considered effective when analgesia was present in all sensory nerves distal to the elbow.
Onset (8.8 +/- 2.3 min versus 10.2 +/- 2.4 min; p-value = 0.010) was significantly shorter in the transarterial group. Complete sensory block of all four nerves (median, ulnar, radial and musculocutaneus) was achieved in 92.5% versus 83.3% for multiple nerve stimulation group and transarterial group, respectively, without significant difference (p = 0.68). Musculocutaneous nerve was significantly easier to be blocked with the aid of peripheral nerve stimulator (p = 0.034).
Both MNS technique for axillary block with nerve stimulator (3 injections) and transarterial technique (2 injections) promote similar results. Musculocutaneous nerve is more easily blocked with the aid of peripheral nerve stimulator. MNS technique has required less supplementary blocks and has delayed beginning of surgery.