Drug Discov Ther. 2023;17(4):230-237. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2023.01005)

Ultrasound-guided brachial plexus block at the clavicle level: A review

Guo ZM, Zhao M, Shu HH


The supraclavicular block (SCB) and the infraclavicular block (ICB) are introduced to meet upper extremity surgery, where the transducer or the insertion point is placed superiorly and inferiorly at the approximate midpoint of the clavicle, respectively. These two approaches are highly appealing since they clearly exhibited each cord and its associated anatomy. In addition, it directed the needle accurately with real-time imaging by ultrasound guidance. Therefore, it brought higher success rates and fewer complications. Numerous trials have recently been conducted to examine the SCB and ICB regarding the new approach, injection techniques, block dynamics, and complication of hemidiaphragmatic paresis. It was found that both approaches could improve block effectiveness and postoperative analgesia for upper extremity surgery, according to recent studies at the level of the clavicular brachial plexus block. However, there is still a lack of work comparing the clinical performance and effectiveness of both approaches with ultrasonography. This review aims to outline the current available data from clinical trials along with case reports about these two approaches and to describe the findings published in the literature during the previous 5 years. Based on these findings, we attempt to determine whether there exists a one-size-fits-all approach that has the potential to meet upper extremity surgery.

KEYWORDS: Brachial plexus block, supraclavicular block, infraclavicular block, costoclavicular block, injection techniques, hemidiaphragmatic paresis, upper extremity surgery

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