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Influence of needle-insertion depth on epidural spread and clinical outcomes in caudal epidural injections: a randomized clinical trial

Authors Park SJ, Yoon KB, Shin DA, Kim K, Kim TL, Kim SH

Received 1 August 2018

Accepted for publication 5 November 2018

Published 21 November 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 2961—2967

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S182227

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval


Sang Jun Park,1,2 Kyung Bong Yoon,1,2 Dong Ah Shin,3 Kiwook Kim,1 Tae Lim Kim,1 Shin Hyung Kim1,2

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 3Department of Neurosurgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Background: A caudal epidural steroid injection (CESI) is a commonly used method to improve symptoms of lumbosacral pain. We compared the achievement of successful epidurograms and patient-reported clinical outcomes following different needle-insertion depths during CESI.
Methods: For the conventional method group, the needle was advanced into the sacral canal. For the alternative method group, the needle was positioned immediately after penetration of the sacrococcygeal ligament. Epidural filling patterns and vascular uptake during fluoroscopy were determined to verify successful epidural injection. Procedural pain scores were investigated immediately after the procedure. Pain scores and patient global impression of symptom change were evaluated at 1-month follow-up.
Results: Assessments were completed by 127 patients (conventional method, n=64; alternative method, n=63). The incidence of intravascular injection was significantly lower in the alternative method group than in the conventional method group (3.2% vs 20.3%, P=0.005). Procedural pain during needle insertion was significantly lower in the alternative method group (3.7±1.3 vs 5.3±1.2, P<0.001). Epidural contrast filling patterns were similar in both groups. One-month follow-up pain scores and patient global impression of symptom change were comparable in both groups.
Conclusion: Compared with the conventional method, the alternative method for CESI could achieve similar epidural spread and symptom improvement. The alternative technique exhibited clinical benefits of a lower rate of intravascular injection and less procedural pain.

Keywords: caudal block, epidurogram, fluoroscopy, intravascular injection, pain, sacral canal

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