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Description and ultrasound targeting of the origin of the suprascapular nerve

Abstract : Anatomical variations in the suprascapular nerve (SSN) and its depth in the suprascapular notch can make it difficult to target with ultrasonography (US). One alternative could be a proximal approach to the SSN, if US provides a reliable description of its origin (orSSN). The primary objective of this study was to demonstrate that US can reliably locate the orSSN. The secondary objective was to describe the features of the proximal SSN. Seventy brachial plexuses (BPs) from 30 healthy volunteers (60 BPs) and 5 cadavers (10 BPs) were included. There were two parts to this study: (1) description of the proximal SSN in healthy volunteers using US to determine the diameter, depth and location of the orSSN; (2) targeting of the orSSN with US in cadaver limbs to determine its distance from the needle, ink marking and locating the orSSN. In Part I, the diameter of the orSSN averaged 1.33 mm (1-9 mm) and its depth averaged 5.12 mm (2.7-10.6 mm). The orSSN was located in the upper trunk of the BP (53) or its posterior division (7). In Part II, the orSSN was successfully targeted in nine of the 10 specimens by US; the needle/orSSN distance averaged 3.8 mm (0-8 mm). The implanted needle was at the orSSN in two cases, proximal to it in seven and distal to it in one. US is a valid modality for describing and pinpointing the orSSN, irrespective of patient morphology.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 10:44:08 AM
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Pierre Laumonerie, Franck Lapègue, Elodie Chantalat, Nicolas Sans, Pierre Mansat, et al.. Description and ultrasound targeting of the origin of the suprascapular nerve. Clinical Anatomy, Wiley, 2017, 30 (6), pp.747-752. ⟨10.1002/ca.22936⟩. ⟨hal-02143182⟩

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