The ability of perfusion index to detect segmental ulnar nerve sparing after supraclavicular nerve block.

Elhamid, B. A., mohamed emam, M. Mostafa, A. Hasanin, W. Awada, A. Rady, and H. Omar, "The ability of perfusion index to detect segmental ulnar nerve sparing after supraclavicular nerve block.", Journal of clinical monitoring and computing, vol. 34, issue 6, pp. 1185-1191, 2020.


Supraclavicular nerve block (SCB) is a commonly used regional block for upper extremity surgery. The most common form of failure of SCB is ulnar segmental sparing. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of perfusion index (PI) in early detection of segmental sparing of the ulnar component of SCB. A prospective observational study included adult patients scheduled for surgery under ultrasound-guided SCB. PI was simultaneously measured at the index finger and little finger. PI was recorded every minute for the first 10 min after SCB. PI ratio was calculated at every measurement point as PI/baseline PI. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve was calculated for the ability of PI ratio to detect segmental ulnar sparing with comparison of little finger readings to the index finger readings. Forty-nine patients were available for the final analysis. Nine patients (18%) had segmental ulnar sparing. PI ratio at the little finger showed excellent predictive ability for ulnar sparing starting from the fifth minute (AUROC 0.92 [0.8-0.98], cutoff value ≤ 1.71) and reached the highest value at the seventh minute (AUROC 0.96 [0.86-1], cutoff value ≤ 1.35), whereas PI ratio at the index finger showed poor predictive ability. When using the PI for evaluation of successful SCB, segmental ulnar sparing could be accurately detected when the PI was measured at the little finger and not at the index finger. An increase of 71% in PI at the little finger 5 min after SCB could accurately rule out ulnar sparing.Clinical trial identifier NCT03880201. Clinical trial registration .