Ultrasound-guided lumbar plexus block in volunteers; a randomized controlled trial.

Strid, J M C; Sauter, Axel; Andersen, M N; Ullensvang, K; Daugaard, M; Bendtsen, M A F; Søballe, K; Pedersen, E M; Børglum, J; Bendtsen, T F (2017). Ultrasound-guided lumbar plexus block in volunteers; a randomized controlled trial. British journal of anaesthesia, 118(3), pp. 430-438. Oxford University Press 10.1093/bja/aew464

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Background The currently best-established ultrasound-guided lumbar plexus block (LPB) techniques use a paravertebral location of the probe, such as the lumbar ultrasound trident (LUT). However, paravertebral ultrasound scanning can provide inadequate sonographic visibility of the lumbar plexus in some patients. The ultrasound-guided shamrock LPB technique allows real-time sonographic viewing of the lumbar plexus, various anatomical landmarks, advancement of the needle, and spread of local anaesthetic injectate in most patients. We aimed to compare block procedure outcomes, effectiveness, and safety of the shamrock vs LUT. Methods Twenty healthy men underwent ultrasound-guided shamrock and LUT LPBs (2% lidocaine–adrenaline 20 ml, with 1 ml diluted contrast added) in a blinded randomized crossover study. The primary outcome was block procedure time. Secondary outcomes were procedural discomfort, number of needle insertions, injectate spread assessed with magnetic resonance imaging, sensorimotor effects, and lidocaine pharmacokinetics. Results The shamrock LPB procedure was faster than LUT (238 [sd 74] vs 334 [156] s; P=0.009), more comfortable {numeric rating scale 0–10: 3 [interquartile range (IQR) 2–4] vs 4 [3–6]; P=0.03}, and required fewer needle insertions (2 [IQR 1–3] vs 6 [2–12]; P=0.003). Perineural injectate spread seen with magnetic resonance imaging was similar between the groups and consistent with motor and sensory mapping. Zero/20 (0%) and 1/19 (5%) subjects had epidural spread after shamrock and LUT (P=1.00), respectively. The lidocaine pharmacokinetics were similar between the groups. Conclusions Shamrock was faster, more comfortable, and equally effective compared with LUT. Clinical trial registration NCT02255591

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic and Policlinic for Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy

UniBE Contributor:

Sauter, Axel


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Jeannie Wurz

Date Deposited:

24 Jan 2018 17:18

Last Modified:

03 Nov 2019 14:34

Publisher DOI:


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