The anesthetic line: A guide for new approaches to block the brachial plexus

Paolo Grossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most textbooks of regional anesthesia explain the relevant anatomy of the brachial plexus. When describing the various techniques or approaches to blocking the brachial plexus, textbooks typically identify the author who first described the particular approach. This is generally followed by a description of how it is performed in relation to superficial landmarks or distances calculated from these landmarks. To fully understand the many techniques that have been described for blocking the brachial plexus, it has become important to create a more strict connection, or common denominator between anatomy and these techniques. The connection allows one to obtain a clearer, general view of the complete pathway of the neural structures of the brachial plexus and can be accomplished by localizing deep and superficial standard landmarks and subsequently connecting these with a skin line. Consequently, the skin line creates a guide that may be helpful in the correct positioning of the needles or catheters used for anesthesia or analgesia of the plexus from the interscalene to infraclavicular or axillary routes. This method aids in conceptualizing the anatomical extent of the brachial plexus, the main purpose of which is to optimize anesthetic approaches to the brachial plexus, resulting in a deeper knowledge and confidence when approaching brachial plexus structures aiding in the instruction of residents, and for presentations to anesthesiologists at educational courses on regional anesthetic blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalTechniques in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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