Blockade of the Ganglion Impar (Walther), Using Ultrasound and a Loss of Resistance Technique

Prague Medical Report

Vol. 113 (2012) No. 1, p. 53–57

Johnston P. J. (1), Michálek P. (2)

1. Department of Anaesthetics, Antrim Area Hospital, Antrim, United Kingdom; 2. Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

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Abstract

The ganglion impar is an unpaired sympathetic structure located at the level of the sacrococcygeal joint. Blockade of this structure has been utilised to treat chronic perineal pain. Methods to achieve this block often involve the use of fluoroscopy which is associated with radiation exposure of staff involved in providing these procedures. We report a combined loss of resistance injection technique in association with ultrasound guidance to achieve the block. Ultrasound was used to identify the sacrococcygeal joint and a needle was shown to enter this region. Loss of resistance was then used to demonstrate that the needle tip lies in a presacral space. The implication being that any injectate would be located in an adequate position. The potential exception would be a neurodestructive procedure as radiographic control of needle tip in relation to the rectum should be performed and recorded. However when aiming for a diagnostic or local anaesthetic based treatment option we feel that this may become an accepted method.

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