Evaluation of the relationship between the topographical anatomy in the axillary region of the brachial plexus and the body mass index

Ozturk O., Tezcan A. H., Bilge A., Ates H., Yagmurdur H., ERBAŞ M.

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MONITORING AND COMPUTING, vol.32, no.4, pp.779-784, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


To investigate the topographic anatomy of the median, musculocutaneous, radial and ulnar nerves with respect to the axillary artery and to seek whether these configurations are associated with baseline descriptive data including age, gender, and body-mass index. This cross-sectional trial was carried out on 199 patients (85 women, 114 men; average age: 46.78 +/- 15.45 years) in the department of anaesthesiology and reanimation of a tertiary care center. Topographic anatomy of the median, musculocutaneous, radial and ulnar nerves was assessed with ultrasonography. Localization of these nerves with respect to the axillary artery was marked on the map demonstrating 16 zones around the axillary artery. Frequencies of localizations of every nerve in these zones were recorded, and the correlation of these locations with descriptive data including age, gender and BMI was investigated. There was no difference between women and men for the distribution of the median (p = 0.74), ulnar (p = 0.35) and radial (p = 0.64) nerves. However, the musculocutaneous nerve was more commonly located in Zone A13 in men compared to women (p = 0.02). The localization of the median (p = 0.85), ulnar (p = 0.27) and radial (p = 0.88) nerves did not differ remarkably between patients with BMI < 25 kg/m(2) and patients with BMI 25 kg/m(2). Notably, the musculocutaneous nerve was more often determined in Zone A10 in cases with BMI 25 kg/m(2) (p = 0.001). Our results imply that the alignment of the musculocutaneous nerve may vary in men and overweight people. This fact must be considered by the anaesthetist before planning the axillary block of brachial plexus. All these informations may enlighten the planning stages of the brachial plexus blockade.