|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 86-88
Hoarseness of voice after supraclavicular ultrasound-guided subclavian perivascular brachial plexus block
Monika Gupta, Panna Jain, Swaran Bhalla, Nitish Upadhyay
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Jaipur Golden Hospital, New Delhi, India
|Date of Submission||07-Jul-2017|
|Date of Acceptance||28-Aug-2017|
|Date of Web Publication||12-Dec-2017|
Dr. Monika Gupta
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Jaipur Golden Hospital, New Delhi - 110 085
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Supraclavicular brachial plexus nerve block is ideal for surgical procedures at or distal to the elbow. Ultrasound (USG) continues to grow in popularity as a method of nerve localization, and for the supraclavicular block, it has the advantage of allowing real-time visualization of the plexus, pleura, and vessels along with the needle and local anesthetic spread, but it may conversely create a false sense of security. The incidence of the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) block occurring with supraclavicular approach is 1.3% of patients. Incidence of RLN block with USG-guided supraclavicular block is not known. In this case report, we discuss a rare complication of RLN block which occurred while performing a supraclavicular perivascular block performed under USG guidance.
Keywords: Brachial plexus, digital pressure, hoarseness of voice, recurrent laryngeal nerve, supraclavicular block, ultrasonography
|How to cite this article:|
Gupta M, Jain P, Bhalla S, Upadhyay N. Hoarseness of voice after supraclavicular ultrasound-guided subclavian perivascular brachial plexus block. Indian Anaesth Forum 2017;18:86-8
|How to cite this URL:|
Gupta M, Jain P, Bhalla S, Upadhyay N. Hoarseness of voice after supraclavicular ultrasound-guided subclavian perivascular brachial plexus block. Indian Anaesth Forum [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Jul 29];18:86-8. Available from: http://www.theiaforum.org/text.asp?2017/18/2/86/220550
| Introduction|| |
Once described as the “spinal of the arm,” a supraclavicular brachial plexus nerve block is ideal for surgical procedures at or distal to the elbow. Block is performed at the level of the brachial plexus trunks formed by the C5-T1 nerve roots, where almost the entire sensory, motor, and sympathetic innervations of the upper extremity are carried in just three nerve structures confined to a very small surface area. Ultrasound (USG)-guided blocks were first described for the supraclavicular region. Principal complications of the procedure are the risks of vascular puncture in an area that is difficult to compress and the risk of pneumothorax. In this case report, we discuss a rare complication of supraclavicular perivascular block performed under USG guidance.
| Case Report|| |
A 28-year-old female patient, weighing 64 kg, American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status I, 160 cm, presented with fracture of distal end of the right radius and ulna for open reduction and internal fixation with plating. There was nothing abnormal found on physical and systemic examination of the patient. Preoperative laboratory investigations were unremarkable. USG-guided right supraclavicular block was planned for her.
On arrival in the operation theater, after establishing the monitors, baseline parameters were noted. Pulse rate was 90/min, which was regular and good volume. Her blood pressure measured 130/80 mmHg and oxygen saturation was 97% on room air. Oxygen administration with face mask at 4 L/min was started. An 18-gauge peripheral intravenous (iv) cannula was inserted.
The patient was positioned for blockade with her head rotated to the left side and right arm close to her body. Under all aseptic precautions, high-frequency linear transducer of SonoSite MicroMaxx USG machine was positioned in the transverse plane immediately superior to the clavicle at approximately its midpoint. The transducer was tilted caudally to obtain a cross-sectional view of the subclavian artery as a pulsating circular structure (transverse view). Brachial plexus was seen as a collection of hypoechoic oval structures lateral and superficial to the artery. A 27-gauge needle was used to inject 1–2 mL of local anesthetic into the skin 1 cm lateral to the transducer to decrease the discomfort during needle insertion. Color Doppler was used to identify and avoid arterial puncture. A 5-cm, 22-gauge, short-bevel insulated stimulating Stimuplex needle was then inserted in-plane toward the brachial plexus, in a lateral-to-medial direction. After being convinced with the location of needle, 15 cc of 0.5% bupivacaine with 20 cc of 2% lignocaine diluted up to 35 cc with normal saline (0.9%) was injected after repeated negative aspiration. Digital compression massage was given in the area. After 2–3 min, the patient developed progressive weakness of voice. She became increasingly anxious without any respiratory distress. Chest expansion was good, and on auscultation, breath sounds were equal on both sides. Oxygen saturation was well maintained. Effect of both motor and sensory blocks were inadequate, and propofol supplementation (loading dose 1 mg/kg followed by infusion at the rate of 100 μg/kg/min) was given. Oxygen supplementation was continued. Surgery was started. The symptoms did not worsen, and vitals remained stable. Vigilant monitoring was continued. Propofol infusion was continued with oxygen supplementation. Analgesia was achieved with injection paracetamol 1 g iv infusion and injection diclofenac sodium 75 mg iv. Surgery lasted for 1 h and was uneventful. Propofol infusion was stopped before the completion of the procedure. After the surgery, the patient was assessed and definitive finding of hoarseness of voice was confirmed with no difficulty in breathing.
The patient was shifted to postanesthesia care unit for observation. Oxygen supplementation was continued. Her voice recovered completely after approximately 3 h. The patient was observed for next 1 h before shifting to the ward.
| Discussion|| |
USG continues to grow in popularity as a method of nerve localization, and for the supraclavicular block, it has the advantage of allowing real-time visualization of the plexus, pleura, and vessels along with the needle and local anesthetic spread. Several authors have described an USG-guided supraclavicular approach to the brachial plexus, beginning with la Grange et al., who in 1978 utilized Doppler USG to indirectly facilitate needle positioning. Technology subsequently improved, and in 1994, Kapral et al. were the first to report direct needle, plexus, and local anesthetic visualization A retrospective review of over 1000 USG-guided supraclavicular blocks at Toronto Western Hospital revealed a success rate of 94.7% (no need for further supplementation or general anesthesia) and importantly no pneumothoraces (Dr. Anahi Perlas, personal communication, article in press). While there is no definitive evidence as yet that USG is superior to other methods of nerve localization for the supraclavicular block, there are now case reports appearing where USG scanning has detected abnormal anatomy that would otherwise not have been evident using “blind” approaches., By alerting the anesthesiologist to either choose another approach or simply avoid regional anesthesia altogether USG may in this manner improve the safety of supraclavicular brachial plexus blockade. Despite these benefits, USG may conversely create a false sense of security and care must be taken, particularly when learning. If the needle tip is not adequately visualized, errors can still occur during USG-guided nerve blocks.,, USG-guided supraclavicular block is the mainstay of our regional anesthesia practice for upper limb surgical procedures at or below the elbow.
Although a supraclavicular block has many advantages, it can have important or fatal complications, which include dyspnea and pneumothorax., Dyspnea occurs from diaphragmatic paralysis or pneumothorax. Unlike conventional techniques, USG can show the size, depth, and precise location of the brachial plexus and its adjacent structures including the first rib, pleura, and movement of the needle. Therefore, real-time USG imaging can help avoid complications such as pneumothorax, inadvertent intravascular injection, or nerve injury.
The complications associated with USG-guided supraclavicular block are dependent on the level of block. However, the complications are few and infrequent in experienced hands, making it a popular procedure. The incidence of the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) block occurring with supraclavicular approach using landmark technique is 1.3% of patients. Incidence of RLN block with USG-guided supraclavicular block is not known.
This complication is attributed to an excessive spread of local anesthetic. The fascial sheath surrounding the brachial plexus is a determinant of the spread of the local anesthetic. The sheath is a derivative of deep cervical fascia and terminates by merging with the medial intermuscular septum of the arm. The local anesthetic injected spreads up and down the nerves in a longitudinal manner and circumferential spread is limited by the fascial sheath.
Several clinical maneuvers have been proposed or utilized in attempt to influence the distribution, or to limit the spread, of local anesthetic injected into the brachial plexus. These include use of a tourniquet, position of the arm, use of massage, multiple injection techniques,, and digital pressure. Based on the radiological evidence, digital pressure has been touted as an effective method to halt progression of local anesthetic into areas of the brachial or cervical plexus during brachial plexus block.
In our patient, digital pressure was not applied after supraclavicular block as we were using USG-guided technique. We would like to propose a hypothesis that digital pressure would have prevented the excessive spread proximally which would have prevented the involvement of recurrent laryngeal nerve; even if the visual confirmation of the local anesthetic drug instillation is achieved with the help of USG. The volume of the drug used might have been an additional contributing factor for the excessive spread. This erroneous distribution might be the reason for the inadequate block effect. As USG does not show the spread of the distribution, a visually confirmed supraclavicular brachial plexus block under USG guidance might not assure the adequacy of the block and prevention of complications, and we would like to suggest application of digital pressure after USG-guided supraclavicular block, as in the conventional landmark technique, to prevent the cephalad spread of local anaesthetic agent and use of lower volume.
| Conclusion|| |
Further studies are required to determine the incidence of the discomforting complication of hoarseness of voice after USG-guided supraclavicular block and effectiveness of applying digital pressure and other maneuvers as a routine practice after USG-guided supraclavicular block to prevent the cephalad spread of local anesthetics.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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