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Ultrasound-guided nerve block prior to biopsy of suspected neurogenic tumors: safety and feasibility in a pilot study



The aim of this study is to investigate the safety and feasibility of ultrasound-guided nerve block prior to biopsy of potentially neurogenic tumors.

Materials and methods

A retrospective review of the medical record from June 2017 to June 2022 identified ultrasound-guided biopsies of potentially neurogenic tumors that were performed with a pre-procedural nerve block. Patient demographics, biopsy site, number of passes, needle gauge, use of sedation, pathology results, and procedural complications were recorded and summarized.


The structured search found 16 patients that underwent biopsies of 18 potentially neurogenic tumors with the use of a pre-procedural nerve block at a variety of upper and lower extremity locations. Average patient age was 52 (range 18–78) and 9 patients (56%) were female. Of the 16 patients, 10 were performed without intravenous sedation. Three patients were unable to tolerate biopsy until a nerve block was used. All biopsies yielded a diagnostic sample with 13 of the tumors neurogenic in origin. One patient reported mild postprocedural pain which resolved with conservative treatment; no other complications were reported.


Nerve block prior to ultrasound-guided biopsy of potentially neurogenic tumors is a safe and feasible technique. Further study is needed to determine the extent to which nerve block can decrease intra-procedural pain and reduce or eliminate the need for sedation during biopsy.

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Data Availability

The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article.


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the work of Erica Timm, RN, in coordination of clinical care.

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Correspondence to Andrew B. Ross.

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Pitts, J., Symanski, J.S., Stratchko, L.M. et al. Ultrasound-guided nerve block prior to biopsy of suspected neurogenic tumors: safety and feasibility in a pilot study. Skeletal Radiol 52, 1585–1590 (2023).

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