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      Detection Rate of Intravascular Injections during Cervical Medial Branch Blocks: A Comparison of Digital Subtraction Angiography and Static Images from Conventional Fluoroscopy

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          Abstract

          Background

          The most definitive diagnosis of neck pain caused by facet joints can be obtained through cervical medial branch blocks (CMBBs). However, intravascular injections need to be carefully monitored, as they can increase the risk of false-negative blocks when diagnosing cervical facet joint syndrome. In addition, intravascular injections can cause neurologic deficits such as spinal infarction or cerebral infarction. Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is a radiological technique that can be used to clearly visualize the blood vessels from surrounding bones or dense soft tissues. The purpose of this study was to compare the rate of detection of intravascular injections during CMBBs using DSA and static images obtained through conventional fluoroscopy.

          Methods

          Seventy-two patients were included, and a total of 178 CMBBs were performed. The respective incidences of intravascular injections during CMBBs using DSA and static images from conventional fluoroscopy were measured.

          Results

          A total of 178 CMBBs were performed on 72 patients. All cases of intravascular injections evidenced by the static images were detected by the DSAs. The detection rate of intravascular injections was higher from DSA images than from static images (10.7% vs. 1.7%, P < 0.001).

          Conclusions

          According to these findings, the use of DSA can improve the detection rate of intravascular injections during CMBBs. The use of DSA may therefore lead to an increase in the diagnostic and therapeutic value of CMBBs. In addition, it can decrease the incidence of potential side effects during CMBBs.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Comprehensive evidence-based guidelines for interventional techniques in the management of chronic spinal pain.

          Comprehensive, evidence-based guidelines for interventional techniques in the management of chronic spinal pain are described here to provide recommendations for clinicians. To develop evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for interventional techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic spinal pain. Systematic assessment of the literature. Strength of evidence was assessed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) criteria utilizing 5 levels of evidence ranging from Level I to III with 3 subcategories in Level II. Short-term pain relief was defined as relief lasting at least 6 months and long-term relief was defined as longer than 6 months, except for intradiscal therapies, mechanical disc decompression, spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal infusion systems, wherein up to one year relief was considered as short-term. The indicated evidence for accuracy of diagnostic facet joint nerve blocks is Level I or II-1 in the diagnosis of lumbar, thoracic, and cervical facet joint pain. The evidence for lumbar and cervical provocation discography and sacroiliac joint injections is Level II-2, whereas it is Level II-3 for thoracic provocation discography. The indicated evidence for therapeutic interventions is Level I for caudal epidural steroid injections in managing disc herniation or radiculitis, and discogenic pain without disc herniation or radiculitis. The evidence is Level I or II-1 for percutaneous adhesiolysis in management of pain secondary to post-lumbar surgery syndrome. The evidence is Level II-1 or II-2 for therapeutic cervical, thoracic, and lumbar facet joint nerve blocks; for caudal epidural injections in managing pain of post-lumbar surgery syndrome, and lumbar spinal stenosis, for cervical interlaminar epidural injections in managing cervical pain (Level II-1); for lumbar transforaminal epidural injections; and spinal cord stimulation for post-lumbar surgery syndrome. The indicated evidence for intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET), mechanical disc decompression with automated percutaneous lumbar discectomy (APLD), and percutaneous lumbar laser discectomy (PLDD) is Level II-2. The limitations of these guidelines include a continued paucity of the literature, lack of updates, and conflicts in preparation of systematic reviews and guidelines by various organizations. The indicated evidence for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions is variable from Level I to III. These guidelines include the evaluation of evidence for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in managing chronic spinal pain and recommendations for managing spinal pain. However, these guidelines do not constitute inflexible treatment recommendations. Further, these guidelines also do not represent "standard of care."
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            Interventional techniques: evidence-based practice guidelines in the management of chronic spinal pain.

            The evidence-based practice guidelines for the management of chronic spinal pain with interventional techniques were developed to provide recommendations to clinicians in the United States. To develop evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for interventional techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic spinal pain, utilizing all types of evidence and to apply an evidence-based approach, with broad representation by specialists from academic and clinical practices. Study design consisted of formulation of essentials of guidelines and a series of potential evidence linkages representing conclusions and statements about relationships between clinical interventions and outcomes. The elements of the guideline preparation process included literature searches, literature synthesis, systematic review, consensus evaluation, open forum presentation, and blinded peer review. Methodologic quality evaluation criteria utilized included the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) criteria, Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS) criteria, and Cochrane review criteria. The designation of levels of evidence was from Level I (conclusive), Level II (strong), Level III (moderate), Level IV (limited), to Level V (indeterminate). Among the diagnostic interventions, the accuracy of facet joint nerve blocks is strong in the diagnosis of lumbar and cervical facet joint pain, whereas, it is moderate in the diagnosis of thoracic facet joint pain. The evidence is strong for lumbar discography, whereas, the evidence is limited for cervical and thoracic discography. The evidence for transforaminal epidural injections or selective nerve root blocks in the preoperative evaluation of patients with negative or inconclusive imaging studies is moderate. The evidence for diagnostic sacroiliac joint injections is moderate. The evidence for therapeutic lumbar intraarticular facet injections is moderate for short-term and long-term improvement, whereas, it is limited for cervical facet joint injections. The evidence for lumbar and cervical medial branch blocks is moderate. The evidence for medial branch neurotomy is moderate. The evidence for caudal epidural steroid injections is strong for short-term relief and moderate for long-term relief in managing chronic low back and radicular pain, and limited in managing pain of postlumbar laminectomy syndrome. The evidence for interlaminar epidural steroid injections is strong for short-term relief and limited for long-term relief in managing lumbar radiculopathy, whereas, for cervical radiculopathy the evidence is moderate. The evidence for transforaminal epidural steroid injections is strong for short-term and moderate for long-term improvement in managing lumbar nerve root pain, whereas, it is moderate for cervical nerve root pain and limited in managing pain secondary to lumbar post laminectomy syndrome and spinal stenosis. The evidence for percutaneous epidural adhesiolysis is strong. For spinal endoscopic adhesiolysis, the evidence is strong for short-term relief and moderate for long-term relief. For sacroiliac intraarticular injections, the evidence is moderate for short-term relief and limited for long-term relief. The evidence for radiofrequency neurotomy for sacroiliac joint pain is limited. The evidence for intradiscal electrothermal therapy is moderate in managing chronic discogenic low back pain, whereas for annuloplasty the evidence is limited. Among the various techniques utilized for percutaneous disc decompression, the evidence is moderate for short-term and limited for long-term relief for automated percutaneous lumbar discectomy, and percutaneous laser discectomy, whereas it is limited for nucleoplasty and for DeKompressor technology. For vertebral augmentation procedures, the evidence is moderate for both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. The evidence for spinal cord stimulation in failed back surgery syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome is strong for short-term relief and moderate for long-term relief. The evidence for implantable intrathecal infusion systems is strong for short-term relief and moderate for long-term relief. These guidelines include the evaluation of evidence for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in managing chronic spinal pain and recommendations for managing spinal pain. However, these guidelines do not constitute inflexible treatment recommendations. These guidelines also do not represent a "standard of care."
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              Adverse central nervous system sequelae after selective transforaminal block: the role of corticosteroids.

              Selective transforaminal epidural injections are frequently employed in the treatment of pain emanating from the spine. Complication rates are typically low and include paresthesia, hematoma, epidural abscess, meningitis, arachnoiditis and inadvertent subdural or subarachnoid injection. Persistent paraplegia after lumbar transforaminal block has been recently reported. Undetected intra-arterial injection has been implicated as a possible cause. We present a case of massive cerebellar infarction after uneventful selective cervical transforaminal block. Intra-arterial injection of corticosteroid is implicated with focus on particulate size of compound versus blood vessel dimension. Light microscopic data are presented to confirm the potential for embolic vascular occlusion. Case report; light microscopic data. A patient underwent selective transforaminal block on the right at the C5-C6 level. There was C5-C6 disc herniation documented by magnetic resonance imaging and C6 radiculopathy by electromyographic studies. Patient follow-up from medical office records. Needle placement at the C5-C6 foramen on the right was confirmed by biplanar fluoroscopy and injection of contrast medium. Frequent heme-negative aspirations were documented. In this patient, quadriparesis ensued shortly after injection of corticosteroid solution. The patient was admitted to the neurosurgical intensive care unit and ultimately underwent brainstem decompressive surgery when focal neurologic deficits became evident. Working diagnosis was massive cerebellar infarct. Light microscopic data are presented to illustrate particulate size in corticosteroid solutions and potential for embolic microvascular occlusion. Corticosteroid suspensions (and to a lesser extent solutions) contain large particles capable of occluding metarterioles and arterioles. We present a case of quadriparesis and brainstem herniation after selective cervical transforaminal block. We propose a potential role for corticosteroid particulate embolus during unintended intra-arterial injection as a potential mechanism.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Korean J Pain
                Korean J Pain
                KJP
                The Korean Journal of Pain
                The Korean Pain Society
                2005-9159
                2093-0569
                April 2015
                01 April 2015
                : 28
                : 2
                : 105-108
                Affiliations
                Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
                [* ]School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea.
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Sae Young Kim. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, 194, Dongsan-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu 700-712, Korea. Tel: +82-53-250-7587, Fax: +82-53-250-7240, mandell@ 123456naver.com
                Article
                10.3344/kjp.2015.28.2.105
                4387454
                Copyright © The Korean Pain Society, 2015

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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