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Comparison of two techniques for ultrasound-guided axillary brachial plexus blockade in cats

, : Comparison of two techniques for ultrasound-guided axillary brachial plexus blockade in cats. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 17(6): 476-485

Axillary blockade of the brachial plexus (BP) is advocated in humans and dogs for surgical procedures carried out on the foot, carpus and elbow as it provides complete analgesia distally from above the elbow joint. The aim of this study was to develop an ultrasound (US)-guided approach to block the BP in cats. Two groups of 12 feline cadavers each were used to compare two different techniques to block the BP at the axillary level. The reliability of the techniques was assessed by anatomical and computed tomography (CT) studies. Cadavers of the first group were positioned in dorsal recumbency with the forelimb to be blocked adducted (thoracic limbs flexed and orientated caudally) (FAD technique). The second group was positioned in dorsal recumbency with the forelimb abducted 90° (FAB technique). The accuracy of the techniques was determined by US after injecting 1 ml blue ink along the BP nerves, and by CT after injecting 1 ml of an iodinated contrast medium. The anatomical and CT studies confirmed the accuracy of the US location of the BP nerves. Staining of the axillaris, musculocutaneous, radialis, medianus and ulnaris nerves was observed in 100% of cats using the FAB technique and in 66% of the cats using the FAD technique. Rate of complications was higher in the FAD technique. In conclusion, a US-guided axillary approach to the BP by the use of a FAB technique is a safe and feasible procedure to block the BP in the cat. Further studies are needed to ascertain whether the technique can be applied in a clinical setting.


PMID: 25193280

DOI: 10.1177/1098612X14548785

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