Objectives: Ultrasonography (US) is an important visualization technique in regional anesthesia. Increasing in quality of images may lead to better conclusions. Our aim in this study was to evaluate the effect of artificial-coloring on image quality and practitioner's preferences.
Methods: Ultrasound images of five block regions, interscalene, supraclavicular, infraclavicular, femoral, and popliteal were taken on a volunteer using gray scale. Then, the images were colored in seven different color scales using artificial-coloring technique. All participants were asked to fill in the structured questionnaire.
Results: All created images were assessed by three specialist and 14 resident anesthesiologists. The highest scores about nerve recognition, distinguishing nerve from surrounding tissues, and visual clarity of fascicles were obtained with blue scale images; however, these findings were not significant compared to gray scale (p>0.05). Blue scale was chosen as a favorite scale by 53% of participants.
Conclusion: Increasing the image quality and resolution while performing regional anesthesia under ultrasound guidance increases success and reduces complications. Artificial-coloring is one of the adjustments that can improve image quality. In our study, the results of coloring with blue were remarkable. However, more importantly than the color chosen, we believe that routine adjustments such as gain, depth, and focusing will bring important advantages.