A randomized, observer-blind comparison between the Neurotip mounted Neuropen and a disposable plastic neurological wheel for assessing the level of spinal blockade at cesarean section

Academic Article


  • Background Various methods are used to assess the height of sensory block to touch under spinal anesthesia for cesarean section. We tested a novel, inexpensive, miniature, user-dependent plastic neurological wheel against the user-independent Neurotip mounted Neuropen. Methods Patients received either spinal or combined spinal-epidural anesthesia. For each patient assessment, the devices were randomly assigned to one of two independent investigators. The order of device application was randomly permuted. Neither researcher was involved with anesthetic care. At 5-min intervals for 20 min after spinal injection, and again at the end of the operation, the levels of block to loss-of-touch sensation were assessed. While one investigator evaluated the block, the other left the operating room and vice versa. Mixed-effects regression and Bland-Altman analysis were used to weigh agreement between devices. Results The mean difference in level-to-touch was 0.04 (95% CI -0.18, 0.27) dermatome levels. Measurement error standard deviation associated with the Neurotip mounted Neuropen and plastic neurological wheel was 1.36 (95% CI 1.26, 1.41) and 1.33 (95% CI 1.26, 1.46) dermatome levels, respectively. The difference in measurement error standard deviation was -0.03 (95% CI -0.16, 0.24). This evidence excludes the possibility, with 95% confidence, of clinically significant bias or measurement error differences between methods. Occasional wide variances in dermatome level were observed with both instruments at the initial assessment only. Conclusion The compact plastic neurological wheel is as clinically reliable as the Neurotip mounted Neuropen. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 16160744
  • Author List

  • Wolin JA; Carter TR; Baysinger CL; Han X; Shotwell M; Downing JW
  • Start Page

  • 125
  • End Page

  • 130
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 2