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Blood flow changes in the forearm arteries after ultrasound-guided costoclavicular brachial plexus blocks: a prospective observational study

  • Xu, Yang1
  • Cui, Derong1
  • Zhang, Junfeng1
  • Ding, Qian1
  • Dong, Jing1
  • Wang, Yan1
  • 1 Shanghai Jiaotong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, 600 Yishan Road, Shanghai, China , Shanghai (China)
Published Article
BMC Anesthesiology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
May 29, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12871-021-01383-w
Springer Nature


BackgroundAn increase in blood flow in the forearm arteries has been reported after brachial plexus block (BPB). However, few studies have quantitatively analysed the blood flow of the forearm arteries after BPB or have studied only partial haemodynamic parameters. The purpose of the present study was to comprehensively assess blood flow changes in the distal radial artery (RA) and ulnar artery (UA) after BPB performed via a new costoclavicular space (CCS) approach using colour Doppler ultrasound.MethodsThirty patients who underwent amputated finger replantation and received ultrasound-guided costoclavicular BPB were included in the study. The haemodynamic parameters of the RA and UA were recorded before the block and 10 min, 20 min, and 30 min after the block using colour Doppler ultrasound to determine the peak systolic velocity (PSV), end-diastolic velocity (EDV), mean velocity (Vmean), pulsatility index (PI), resistance index (RI) and area. The volumetric flow rate (VFR) was calculated using the formula Q = area×Vmean. The aforementioned parameters were compared not only before and after the BPB but also between the RA and UA.ResultsCompared with those of the respective baselines, there was a significant increase in the PSV, EDV, Vmean, area, and VFR and a significant decrease in the PI and RI of the RA and UA 10 min, 20 min, and 30 min post-block. The increase 30 min post-block in EDV (258.68 % in the RA, 279.63 % in the UA) was the most notable, followed by that in the Vmean (183.36 % in the RA, 235.24 % in the UA), and the PSV (139.11 % in the RA, 153.15 % in the UA) changed minimally. The Vmean and VFR of the RA were significantly greater than those of the UA before the BPB; however, there was no significant difference in the VFR between the RA and UA after the BPB.ConclusionsA costoclavicular BPB can increase blood flow in the forearm arteries. The RA had a higher volumetric flow rate than the UA before the BPB; however, the potential blood supply capacity of the UA was similar to that of the RA after a BPB.Trial registrationThis study was registered at the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (, clinical trial number: ChiCTR 1900023796, date of registration: June 12, 2019)

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