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Comparing the injectate spread and nerve involvement between different injectate volumes for ultrasound-guided greater occipital nerve block at the C2 level: a cadaveric evaluation

Authors Baek IC, Park K, Kim TL, O J, Yang HM, Kim SH

Received 30 April 2018

Accepted for publication 7 August 2018

Published 25 September 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 2033—2038

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S172692

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Erica Wegrzyn


In Chan Baek,1 Kyungeun Park,1 Tae Lim Kim,1 Jehoon O,2 Hun-Mu Yang,2,* Shin Hyung Kim1,*

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Anatomy, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Purpose: The spread patterns between different injectate volumes have not yet been investigated in ultrasound-guided greater occipital nerve (GON) block at the C2 level. This cadaveric study was undertaken to compare the spread pattern and nerve involvements of different volumes of dye using this technique.
Materials and methods: After randomization, ultrasound-guided GON blocks with 1 or 5 mL dye solution were performed at the C2 level on the right or left side of five fresh cadavers. The suboccipital regions were dissected, and nerve involvement was investigated.
Results: Ten injections were successfully completed. In all cases of 5 mL dye, we observed the deeply stained posterior neck muscles, including the suboccipital triangle space. The suboccipital and third occipital nerves, in addition to GONs, were consistently stained when 5-mL dye was used in all injections (100%). Although all GONs were successfully stained in the 1-mL dye cases, three of five injections (60%) concomitantly stained the third occipital nerves.
Conclusion: The clinical efficacy of this technique using the 5-mL injectate seems unlikely to arise from the blockade of GON alone. Instead, its efficacy likely arises from the blockade of most nerves originating from the dorsal ramus of the upper cervical spinal nerve at the suboccipital area. Even using 1 mL of injectate may not guarantee blockade of the GON alone.

Keywords: obliquus capitis inferior, third occipital nerve, suboccipital nerve, Cruveilhier plexus, suboccipital triangle region, headache

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