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Clin J Pain. 2011 May;27(4):355-6. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181f1eabb.

Pneumorrhachis mimicking meningitis after a paramedian lumbar interlaminar injection.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Northwestern University, 251 E Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. G-jr@northwestern.edu


We report a case of a 76-year-old female with chronic back pain owing to a degenerative disc disease at L5 to S1. She underwent a paramedian lumbar interlaminar injection in the prone position at the level of L5-S1 using loss of resistance technique and without fluoroscopic guidance. The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit on the day after the procedure with objective signs of meningeal irritation. A computed tomography scan of the spine showed presence of multiple air levels within the spinal canal. The patient's symptoms resolved spontaneously and she was discharged to home the next day.

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