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Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 305–314 | Cite as

Ultrasound–anatomic correlation of the peripheral nerves of the upper limb

  • Xavier Bargalló
  • Anna Carrera
  • Xavier Sala-Blanch
  • Gorane Santamaría
  • Rosa Morro
  • Manuel LLusá
  • Rosa Gilabert
Teaching Anatomy

Abstract

Background

Sonography allows good visualization of the peripheral nerves and the vascular and muscular structures that surround them. Our goals are to provide an easy-to-use atlas that gives accurate information about the locations and relations among the nerves in the different parts of the arm and to correlate it with the probe position and the ultrasound images.

Materials and methods

A cadaver right arm was used for the present study. The arterial and venous vessels were injected with red and blue-colored latex to obtain a better correlation with ultrasound slices from two healthy volunteers. The specimen was frozen and then cut into slices with an average thickness of 2 cm, starting from the lower part of the axilla.

Results

Close correlation was present between the ultrasound and anatomic slices identifying the main muscular, vascular and nervous structures. In the arm, median, ulnar and radial nerves were easily seen because of the proximity to vascular landmark and their size. In the forearm, the ulnar nerve was also easy to identify because of the factors previously mentioned; the median nerve was easy to locate between the flexor digitorum superficialis and profundus muscles. The superficial branch of the radial arm was seen in most cases, although some skill was required.

Conclusion

Ultrasound is a useful tool to identify the main nerves of the upper arm. This atlas indicates the locations and relations among the nerves, correlating with the ultrasound appearance.

Keywords

Nerve Ultrasound Upper limb Anatomy 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xavier Bargalló
    • 1
  • Anna Carrera
    • 2
  • Xavier Sala-Blanch
    • 3
  • Gorane Santamaría
    • 1
  • Rosa Morro
    • 2
  • Manuel LLusá
    • 2
  • Rosa Gilabert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology (CDIC)Hospital Clínic de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, Facultat de MedicinaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of AnaesthesiologyHospital Clínic de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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