Use of a steerable needle for CT-guided nerve plexus blockade

J. Scott Kriegshauser, M. Grace Knuttinen, Nan Zhang, Rahmi Oklu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Demonstrate the use of a new steerable needle for CT-guided neural plexus blockade to avoid traversing the kidneys. Materials and methods: Retrospective evaluation of 23 consecutive CT-guided neural plexus blockade procedures in which a new steerable needle was used in the last 13 and compared with the prior 10 procedures in which a standard needle was used. Results: Use of the steerable needle was beneficial to reach the target area without traversing a kidney or other organs in 6/13 (46%) procedures; in the other 7 procedures there was no benefit. A kidney was traversed in 0/13 procedures performed with the steerable needle. In contrast, a kidney was traversed in 4/10 (40%) procedures using a standard needle (P = 0.02). There was no significant difference in clinical benefit (P = 1.00) or complications (P = 0.56) between procedures using the steerable needle versus a standard needle. Three complications were observed (1 major and 2 minor) felt to be related to the injection and not the needle type. Conclusions: The utility of a steerable 21-gauge needle during neural plexus blockades was found to allow for avoidance of the kidneys when compared to a standard (non-steerable) needle. Interventional radiologists may find this needle and its future iterations useful for neural blockades, as well as other procedures, when intervening structures need to be avoided. Level of evidence: Level 3, Non-randomized controlled cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-332
Number of pages6
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019


  • Nerve block
  • Pain management
  • Palliation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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