Diffusion of contrast medium after perineural injection of the palmar nerves: an in vivo and in vitro study

Nagy, A.; Bodo, G.; Dyson, S.J.; Szabo, F.; Barr, A.R. (2009). Diffusion of contrast medium after perineural injection of the palmar nerves: an in vivo and in vitro study. Equine veterinary journal, 41(4), pp. 379-83. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 10.2746/042516409X372502

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REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Proximal diffusion of local anaesthetic solution after perineural anaesthesia may lead to the desensitisation of structures other than those intended. However, there is no evidence-based study demonstrating the potential distribution and diffusion of local anaesthetic solution after perineural analgesia in the distal limb. OBJECTIVE: To document the potential diffusion of local anaesthetic solution using a radiopaque contrast model and to evaluate the influence of walking compared with confinement in a stable after injection. METHODS: Radiopaque contrast medium was injected subcutaneously over one palmar nerve at the base of the proximal sesamoid bones in 6 nonlame mature horses. Horses were assigned randomly to stand still or walk after injection. Radiographs were obtained 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 min after injection and were analysed to determine the distribution and diffusion of the contrast medium. RESULTS: In 89% of injections an elongated pattern of the contrast medium was observed suggesting distribution along the neurovascular bundle. After 49% of injections a fine radiopaque line extended proximally from the contrast 'patch', and in 25% of injections a line extended distally. There was significant proximal and distal diffusion with time when sequential radiographs of each limb were compared. The greatest diffusion occurred in the first 10 min. Walking did not significantly influence the extent of either proximal or distal diffusion. CONCLUSIONS AND POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: Significant proximal diffusion occurs in the first 10 min after perineural injection in the distal aspect of the limb and should be considered when interpreting nerve blocks. Distribution of local anaesthetic solution outside the fascia surrounding the neurovascular bundle or in lymphatic vessels may explain delayed or decreased effects.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Equine Clinic

UniBE Contributor:

Bodó, Gabor








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:25

Last Modified:

21 Jan 2014 15:05

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/38367 (FactScience: 221226)

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