Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Echogenic Needles Provide Best Needle Visualization at Steeper Angles of Insertion

Anesthesiologists looking to achieve good needle visualization at steeper angles of insertion may get better results using echogenic needles with beam steering versus using these technologies individually, new research suggests.

“Needle visualization is of utmost importance when providing regional anesthesia care and to provide a safe and efficacious block,” said Christopher Prabhakar, MD, lead study author and clinical instructor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver.

Echogenic needles use coatings or notchings to increase the amount of ultrasound beams that get bounced back, while beam steering “angles the beam of the ultrasound transducer to provide a more perpendicular angle with respect to the needle that is inserted,” Dr. Prabhakar said. Although both technologies can improve visualization, there is “no appreciation for what is the best technology to use at moderate angles of insertion between 40 to 60 degrees,” the researchers wrote. They conducted the study to determine whether beam steering will improve visibility when used with echogenic (Pajunk SonoPlex Stim 22 gauge, 80 mm) and nonechogenic (Pajunk UniPlex NanoLine 22 gauge, 80 mm) needles within that range.


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