Public Defence: Trine Kåsine Trine Kåsine at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “New Needle Tip Tracking Technology for Ultrasound-Guided Peripheral Nerve Blocks” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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An electronic copy of the thesis may be ordered from the faculty up to 2 days prior to the public defence. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Trial Lecture – time and place

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Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Chair of Anesthesia Andrea Saporito, Bellinzona Regional Hospital
  • Second opponent: Professor Gunnvald Kvarstein, UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor II Harriet Akre, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Bente Halvorsen, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Chief Physician Axel Sauter, Oslo University Hospital


Ultrasound guidance is commonly used for the localisation of peripheral nerves and to control needle advancement in regional anaesthesia. One of the most common errors in ultrasound guided nerve blocks is the failure to visualise the needle. The use of a reliable needle tracking system might improve both the feasibility and precision of needling procedures. The Onvision® needle tip tracking technology is a new navigation technology customised for regional anaesthesia.  It consists of a Stimuplex Onvision® needle with a piezoelectric sensor at the needle tip and an Xperius™ Ultrasound System. Ultrasound image data from the ultrasound system are combined with ultrasound signals received by the sensor at the needle tip. The information is processed in an integrated electric console and the position of the needle tip can be visualised as a green circle on the ultrasound screen.

The aim of the studies included in this thesis is to evaluate if the new needle tip tracking technology could facilitate and improve the anaesthesiologist’s needling performance in ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks.

The new needle tracking technology was initially evaluated in a phantom model. Forty anaesthesiologists with varying experience performed simulated nerve block procedures with an in-plane and out of plane needling approach. In two consecutive studies involving healthy volunteers, lumbar plexus blocks (out-of-plane) and infraclavicular plexus brachialis blocks (in-plane) were performed to evaluate needle tip tracking. All three studies had a randomised controlled cross-over design.

The findings indicate an improved needle control when using needle tip tracking for out-of-plane procedures. For in-plane procedures, no significant differences were found when comparing ultrasound guided needling procedures with or without needle tip tracking.  The benefits of the new needle tip tracking technology are limited and depend on the needling approach.

Additional information

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Published May 10, 2022 10:32 AM - Last modified May 23, 2022 1:16 PM