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Title: Absence of neurotoxicity with perineural injection of ultrasound gels: assessment using an animal model.
Authors: Belavy, D 
Sunn, Nana 
Lau, Queenie 
Robertson, Thomas 
Issue Date: 3-Sep-2013
Source: BMC anesthesiology 2013-09-03; 13(1): 18
Abstract: Ultrasound gels may contain propylene glycol and glycerol, which are neurotoxic in high concentrations. If the needle passes through gel during regional anesthesia, gel may be injected near the nerve. It is unknown if this practice poses a risk for neurotoxicity. Using an animal model, we assessed the histological changes of perineural propylene glycol on nerves. We then assessed three commonly used sterile gels for evidence of neurotoxicity. Micro-ultrasound guided perineural sciatic nerve injections were performed in mice. Propylene glycol (PG) 2.5%, 10%, 35%, 70% (v/v) or saline was injected. Nerves were assessed after three days for evidence of neurotoxicity. Aquasonic® 100 Ultrasound Gel, K-Y® Lubricating Jelly, and PDI® Lubricating Jelly were also studied against saline controls. Confluent areas of axonal degeneration and intraneural inflammation occurred in 5 of 9 specimens injected with 70% PG. At 35%, 2 of 8 specimens showed patchy changes not present at lower concentrations. No degeneration occurred with Aquasonic® 100 or PDI® Lubricating Jelly. In the K-Y® group, one gel and one saline specimen demonstrated confluent degenerative changes. Similar to glycerol, 70% PG may cause confluent areas of axon and myelin degeneration with associated intraneural inflammation. The concentration of PG present in ultrasound gels is unlikely to cause neurotoxicity. Aquasonic® 100 and PDI® Lubricating Jelly did not cause neurotoxicity. The results for K-Y® Lubricating Jelly are inconclusive. There is no evidence that passing the needle through the studied gels during regional anesthesia procedures is harmful.
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2253-13-18
PubMed URL:
ISSN: 1471-2253
Journal Title: BMC anesthesiology
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Scholarly and Clinical

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