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Therapeutic effect of epidural hyaluronic acid in a rat model of foraminal stenosis

Authors Nahm FS, Lee PB, Choe GY, Lim YJ, Kim YC

Received 21 September 2016

Accepted for publication 17 October 2016

Published 25 January 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 241—248


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Francis Sahngun Nahm,1 Pyung Bok Lee,1 Ghee Young Choe,2 Young Jin Lim,3 Yong Chul Kim3

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, 2Department of Pathology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam-si, 3Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Purpose: Since receiving a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about injection of corticosteroids into the epidural space having serious adverse events, we have sought alternative medications for injection at this site. Hyaluronic acid (HA) has anti-adhesive, anti-inflammatory, and lubricating properties, so could potentially be useful for spinal pain. The exact mechanism by which spinal stenosis develops is not fully understood, but is likely to involve inflammation. Therefore, we hypothesized that HA could have a therapeutic effect in spinal stenosis. This study evaluated the effects of epidural administration of HA on alleviation of pain in a rat model of foraminal stenosis.
Materials and methods: After creating the animal model, HA (HA group) or saline solution (S group) was administered via an epidural catheter. The paw-withdrawal threshold to mechanical stimulation and motor dysfunction were monitored for up to 21 days. Tissue was collected to evaluate the degree of adhesion, inflammation in the perineural area, and chromatolysis in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG).
Results: The mechanical withdrawal threshold was restored in the HA group but not in the S group (P<0.001). The HA group also showed less fibrosis (P=0.026) and less chromatolysis (P=0.002) than the S group.
Conclusion: HA administered epidurally had a therapeutic effect on the allodynia and hyperalgesia induced by chronic compression of the DRG.

Keywords: adhesion, epidural, fibrosis, hyaluronic acid, inflammation, spinal stenosis, pain

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