The Electrophysiological Effect of Dextrose 5% in Water on Single-Shot Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

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When performing regional anesthesia, a small volume of local anesthetic or normal saline abolishes a motor response induced by a low current (0.5 mA). In this case series we describe the electrophysiological effect of a nonconducting (dextrose 5% in water, D5W) injectate on a motor response elicited by low current electrical stimulation. Twenty-nine peripheral nerve blocks were performed in 20 patients using insulated needles. Each needle was primed with D5W. The needle was advanced towards the target nerve until corresponding motor responses were observed using a current of 0.5 mA or less. Once the needle position was optimally placed, 1 mL of D5W was injected followed by a predetermined dose of local anesthetic. The effects of the injectates (D5W and local anesthetic) on the motor response were observed at all needle insertion sites. In all cases, the motor response was at least maintained or augmented (96%) immediately after the injection of D5W. All motor responses diminished after the injection of local anesthetic (100%). All blocks were considered clinically successful.

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