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Effect of Beam Steering on Echogenic and Nonechogenic Needle Visibility at 40°, 50°, and 60° Needle Insertion Angles

Prabhakar, Christopher FRCPC*; Uppal, Vishal FRCA; Sondekoppam, Rakesh V. MD

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002618
Research Report: PDF Only

Currently, there is little understanding of the role of echogenic needles and beam steering at moderate angles of needle insertion. The ultrasound images of the echogenic and nonechogenic needles inserted into pork at 40°, 50°, and 60° were scored by anesthesiologists on a scale of 0–10. The effect of different levels of beam steer was also explored. At 40°, steep beam steering improves visualization of both nonechogenic and echogenic needles to an equal, satisfactory level. At 50° and 60°, visualization of nonechogenic needles is poor, whereas visibility of an echogenic needle was adequate and may be improved with steep beam steering.

From the *Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, St Paul’s Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Department of Anesthesia, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; and Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Accepted for publication September 27, 2017.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s website (

The abstract of this report was presented as a moderated poster at the American Society of Regional Anesthesia Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, in April 2016, and was selected for online publication by Anesthesiology News (May 26, 2016:; search “Prabhakar”; must be registered and logged on to view article).

Funding: None.

Conflicts of Interest: See Disclosures at the end of the article.

Reprints will not be available from the authors.

Address correspondence to Christopher Prabhakar, FRCPC, St Paul’s Hospital, 1081 Burrard St, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6Z 1Y6, Canada. Address e-mail to

© 2018 International Anesthesia Research Society
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