Pulmonary Function Changes and Diaphragmatic Paralysis Following Ultrasound Guided Supraclavicular Brachial Plexus Blockade: The Effects of Decreased Local Anesthetic Volume

2014-07-23 21:11:08 | BioPortfolio


This clinical trial is being conducted to study lung function and movement of the major muscle involved in breathing (the diaphragm) after a brachial plexus nerve block (nerve "freezing"). The purpose of this study is to find out what effects (good and bad) ultrasound guided nerve freezing has on the movement of the patient's diaphragm and their lung function.

The potential advantage of ultrasound guidance will be a lesser chance of freezing the nerves that innervate the diaphragm and thus having less of an effect on lung function.


The supraclavicular approach to brachial plexus blockade was first described by Kulenkampf in 1911. With classic "blind" techniques, an incidence of pneumothorax has been reported ranging from 0.5-6.0%, limiting its widespread use, despite the belief that the supraclavicular approach is the most consistent, effective technique for anesthetizing the brachial plexus. With the advent of ultrasound guidance and real time visualization this risk has been minimized and a resurgence in utilization of this approach has occurred. Increased block success, diminished performance times, and lower anesthetic volumes have been observed with this technique when compared to nerve stimulator techniques. Despite these advantages, brachial plexus anesthesia above the clavicle is associated with diaphragmatic dysfunction and caution must be demonstrated in patients with respiratory disease. Interscalene brachial plexus blockade has been widely documented to produce a 100% incidence of hemidiaphragmatic paresis and an associated 25% mean reduction in forced vital capacity (FVC) with local anesthetic volumes ranging from 20 - 45mL 8-10, these parameters for supraclavicular brachial plexus blockage are not as well defined. Previous investigations report an incidence of hemidiaphragmatic paresis of 1-75% with supraclavicular brachial plexus blockade. This study will address whether diaphragmatic function and respiratory mechanics can be preserved with lower anesthetic volumes in ultrasound guided supraclavicular brachial plexus blockade.

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective


Diaphragmatic Function


Supraclavicular Block


HSC Pain Management Centre


Enrolling by invitation


University of Manitoba

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:11:08-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The type of DIAPHRAGMATIC HERNIA caused by TRAUMA or injury, usually to the ABDOMEN.

A congenital abnormality characterized by the elevation of the DIAPHRAGM dome. It is the result of a thinned diaphragmatic muscle and injured PHRENIC NERVE, allowing the intra-abdominal viscera to push the diaphragm upward against the LUNG.

Interruption of sympathetic pathways, by local injection of an anesthetic agent, at any of four levels: peripheral nerve block, sympathetic ganglion block, extradural block, and subarachnoid block.

Impaired conduction of cardiac impulse that can occur anywhere along the conduction pathway, such as between the SINOATRIAL NODE and the right atrium (SA block) or between atria and ventricles (AV block). Heart blocks can be classified by the duration, frequency, or completeness of conduction block. Reversibility depends on the degree of structural or functional defects.

Genes whose loss of function or gain of function MUTATION leads to the death of the carrier prior to maturity. They may be essential genes (GENES, ESSENTIAL) required for viability, or genes which cause a block of function of an essential gene at a time when the essential gene function is required for viability.

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