U l t r a s o u n d - G u i d e d R e g i o n a l A n e s t h e s i a f o r P e r i p h e r a l N e r v e
B l o c k s : A n E v i d e n c e - B a s e d O u t c o m e R e v i e w
John G. Antonakakis, MD
Paul H. Ting, MD
Brian Sites, MD
Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (UGRA) has increased in popularity over the
past 5 years. This interest is reflected by the plethora of publications devoted to
technique development as well as randomized and controlled trials. The journal of
the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA), Regional
Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, has recently devoted a dedicated section to UGRA.
Further evidence of the interest in ultrasonography by our community is the comprehensive coverage of UGRA at national and international meetings. Despite the excitement around ultrasound (US), skeptics argue that there is a lack of evidence-based medicine to support the unequivocal adoption of UGRA as a “standard of care.”
This article summarizes and critically assesses current data comparing traditional
approaches to localizing nerves with those that use US guidance. In addition, the
authors explore the potential benefits of UGRA that go beyond current information
available from comparative studies.