Comparison of Ultrasound-Guided Infraclavicular Brachial Plexus Block Sensorial Duration in Diabetic and Non-diabetic Patients: A Prospective Observational Study

Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim. 2022 Aug;50(4):267-273. doi: 10.5152/TJAR.2022.21402.


Objective: Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes mellitus. Recovery from peripheral nerve blocks in diabetic patients with neuropathy may be delayed because of axonal degeneration and segmental demyelination. The aim of this study is to compare the infraclavicular brachial plexus block durations in patients with and without diabetes mellitus type 2.

Methods: This prospective observational study included 60 patients who were aged 40-80 years, with American Society of Anesthesiologists I-IV physical status and scheduled for elbow, forearm, and/or hand surgery under infraclavicular brachial plexus blocks. All 30 patients in Group DM (patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 diagnosis) and 29/30 patients in Group NODM (patients without diabetes mellitus diagnosis) completed the study successfully. The sensorial block duration was documented as the primary outcome, and the motor block duration, time-to-first pain, numeric rating scale scores at rest/during mobilization, rescue analgesic use, and total consumed doses through the first 2 postoperative days were all documented as the secondary outcomes.

Results: Sensorial block duration in Group DM (505 [315-1020] minutes) was longer than in Group NODM (440 [160-780] minutes) (P =.016). Motor block duration was also longer (488.7 ± 153.8 minutes vs 379.2 ± 118.9 minutes; P =.003), and time-to-first pain was prolonged (625 [360-1200] minutes vs 520 [300-900] minutes; P =.004) in Group DM. The highest NRS scores at the 6th hours, 12th hours, and rescue analgesic consumption through the first 2 postoperative days were lower in Group DM (P < .05).

Conclusion: This infraclavicular brachial plexus block study highlights the current literature on diabetic patients with respect to longer block durations, prolonged time-to-first pain, lower pain scores, and less analgesic consumption.