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Optimal point of insertion of the needle in neuraxial blockade using a midline approach: study in a geometrical model

Authors Vogt M, van Gerwen D, van den Dobbelsteen J, Hagenaars M

Received 27 April 2016

Accepted for publication 28 June 2016

Published 10 August 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 39—44

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/LRA.S111569

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Stefan Wirz


Mark Vogt,1 Dennis J van Gerwen,2 John J van den Dobbelsteen,2 Martin Hagenaars,3

1Department of Anesthesiology, Erasmus MC Sophia Children Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; 2Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands; 3Department of Anesthesiology, Canisius Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Abstract: Performance of neuraxial blockade using a midline approach can be technically difficult. It is therefore important to optimize factors that are under the influence of the clinician performing the procedure. One of these factors might be the chosen point of insertion of the needle. Surprisingly few data exist on where between the tips of two adjacent spinous processes the needle should be introduced. A geometrical model was adopted to gain more insight into this issue. Spinous processes were represented by parallelograms. The length, the steepness relative to the skin, and the distance between the parallelograms were varied. The influence of the chosen point of insertion of the needle on the range of angles at which the epidural and subarachnoid space could be reached was studied. The optimal point of insertion was defined as the point where this range is the widest. The geometrical model clearly demonstrated, that the range of angles at which the epidural or subarachnoid space can be reached, is dependent on the point of insertion between the tips of the adjacent spinous processes. The steeper the spinous processes run, the more cranial the point of insertion should be. Assuming that the model is representative for patients, the performance of neuraxial blockade using a midline approach might be improved by choosing the optimal point of insertion.

Keywords: neuraxial blockade, midline approach, optimal point of insertion, geometrical model

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