A review of scalp blockade for cranial surgery

Alexander Papangelou, Batya R. Radzik, Timothy Smith, Allan Gottschalk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Neural blockade of the scalp may be used as an adjunct to general anesthesia or serve as the principal anesthetic for both intracranial and extracranial procedures. Effective scalp blockade typically requires anesthetizing multiple peripheral nerves; blockade of one or more of these is often used to diagnose and treat conditions such as chronic headache. Improved anatomic knowledge has refined the use of scalp blockade so that directed neural blockade is achieved. The vascularity of the scalp, proximity of arteries supplying the cerebral circulation, use of large volumes of local anesthetic, and presence of intracranial devices or bony defects require attention. The impact of perioperative scalp blockade on acute and chronic pain may offer insight into the benefits of perioperative neural blockade generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-159
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013


  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Intracranial surgery
  • Local anesthetics
  • Neuroanesthesia
  • Regional anesthesia
  • Scalp blockade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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