The ASRA evidence-based medicine assessment of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia and pain medicine: Executive summary.


Journal Article (Review)

OBJECTIVES:The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine charged an expert panel to examine the evidence basis for ultrasound guidance as a nerve localization tool in the clinical practices of regional anesthesia and interventional pain medicine. METHODS:The panel searched, examined, and assessed the literature of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (UGRA) from the past 20 years. The qualities of studies were graded using the Jadad score. Strength of evidence and recommendations were graded using an accepted rating tool. RESULTS:The panel made specific literature-based assessments concerning the relative advantages and limitations of UGRA relative to traditional nerve localization methods as they pertained to block characteristics and complications. Assessments and recommendations were made for upper and lower extremity, neuraxial, and truncal blocks and include pediatrics and interventional pain medicine. CONCLUSIONS:Ultrasound guidance improves block characteristics (particularly performance time and surrogate measures of success) that are often block specific and that may impart an efficiency advantage depending on individual practitioner circumstances. Evidence for UGRA impacting patient safety is currently limited to the demonstration of improvements in the frequency of surrogate events for serious complications.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Neal, JM; Brull, R; Chan, VWS; Grant, SA; Horn, J-L; Liu, SS; McCartney, CJL; Narouze, SN; Perlas, A; Salinas, FV; Sites, BD; Tsui, BC-H

Published Date

  • March 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 2 Suppl

Start / End Page

  • S1 - S9

PubMed ID

  • 20216019

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20216019

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8651

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1098-7339

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/aap.0b013e3181d22fe0


  • eng