A Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the See, Tilt, Align, and Rotate (STAR) Maneuver on Skill Acquisition for Simulated Ultrasound-Guided Interventional Procedures. Academic Article uri icon


  • Achieving the best view of the needle and target anatomy when performing ultrasound-guided interventional procedures requires technical skill, which novices may find difficult to learn. We hypothesized that teaching novice performers to use 4 sequential steps (see, tilt, align, and rotate [STAR] method) to identify the needle under ultrasound guidance is more efficient than training with the commonly described probe movements of align, rotate, and tilt (ART).This study compared 2 instructional methods for transducer manipulation including alignment of a probe and needle by novices during a simulated ultrasound-guided nerve block. Right-handed volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 years who had no previous ultrasound experience were recruited and randomized to 1 of 2 groups; one group was trained to troubleshoot misalignment with the ART method, and the other was trained with the new STAR maneuver. Participants performed the task, consisting of directing a needle in plane to 3 targets in a standardized gelatin phantom 3 times. The performance assessor and data analyst were blinded to group assignment.Thirty-five participants were recruited. The STAR group was able to complete the task more quickly (P < .001) and visualized the needle in a greater proportion of the procedure time (P = .004) compared to the ART group. All STAR participants were able to complete the task, whereas 41% of ART participants abandoned the task (P = .003).Novices are able to complete a simulated ultrasound-guided nerve block more quickly and efficiently when trained with the 4-step STAR maneuver compared to the ART method.© 2015 by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

publication date

  • June 2015