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Sonographic tracking of trunk nerves: essential for ultrasound-guided pain management and research

Authors Chang KV, Lin CP, Lin CS, Wu WT, Karmakar MK, Özçakar L

Received 4 October 2016

Accepted for publication 19 October 2016

Published 4 January 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 79—88


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Ke-Vin Chang,1,2 Chih-Peng Lin,2,3 Chia-Shiang Lin,4,5 Wei-Ting Wu,1 Manoj K Karmakar,6 Levent Özçakar7

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital, Bei-Hu Branch, Taipei, Taiwan; 2National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan; 3Department of Anesthesiology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; 4Department of Anesthesiology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; 5Mackay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Mackay Medical College, Taipei, Taiwan; 6Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, New Territories, Hong Kong; 7Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Hacettepe University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey

Abstract: Delineation of architecture of peripheral nerves can be successfully achieved by high-resolution ultrasound (US), which is essential for US-guided pain management. There are numerous musculoskeletal pain syndromes involving the trunk nerves necessitating US for evaluation and guided interventions. The most common peripheral nerve disorders at the trunk region include thoracic outlet syndrome (brachial plexus), scapular winging (long thoracic nerve), interscapular pain (dorsal scapular nerve), and lumbar facet joint syndrome (medial branches of spinal nerves). Until now, there is no single article systematically summarizing the anatomy, sonographic pictures, and video demonstration of scanning techniques regarding trunk nerves. In this review, the authors have incorporated serial figures of transducer placement, US images, and videos for scanning the nerves in the trunk region and hope this paper helps physicians familiarize themselves with nerve sonoanatomy and further apply this technique for US-guided pain medicine and research.

Keywords: ultrasound, nerve, trunk, lumbar, pain

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