Ultrasound visualization of anatomical structures through a sterile transparent dressing
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KeywordsAnatomical Structure Ultrasound Imaging Median Nerve Central Venous Line Line Placement
To the Editor,
We read with great interest the article entitled “Use of a chlorhexidine-impregnated patch does not decrease the incidence of bacterial colonization of femoral nerve catheters: a randomized trial”1 published in the Journal, as we have recently started using a similar anti-bacterial gel dressing with the aim to minimize risk of infection during continuous peripheral nerve catheterization. Although it was disappointing to learn that there is no evidence of reduced femoral nerve catheter infection with the use of the BIOPATCH® (Ethicon Inc., Somerville, NJ, USA), we would like to alert readers to our observation of a potential unrelated benefit of chlorhexidine-impregnated gel dressings, specifically, allowing ultrasound visualization of underlying anatomical structures.
This observation illustrates the assertion that ultrasound waves emitted from probes are prone to attenuation by poor contact, air, and subtle changes in interface materials. This letter serves to remind clinicians that certain dressings (e.g., Tegaderm CHG; Comfeel Plus, Coloplast® A/S, Humlebæk, Denmark) allow ultrasound imaging, and in order to obtain the best quality image, close attention should be paid to any media placed between the probe and patient.2
The corresponding author (B.T.) is supported in part by a Clinical Scholar Award from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) and a CAS/Abbott Laboratories Career Scientist Award from the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society.
Conflicts of interest/other associations
The corresponding author (B.T.) has a patent licensing agreement with Pajunk; however, there is no conflict of interest concerning the equipment used in this study. The other authors declare no conflict of interest.