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Pain Manag. 2015;5(4):261-72. doi: 10.2217/pmt.15.17. Epub 2015 Jun 10.

Key safety considerations when administering epidural steroid injections.

Author information

1
Pain Management Center of Paducah, Paducah, KY 42003, USA.
2
Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 40292, USA.
3
Millennium Pain Center, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA.
4
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801, USA.

Abstract

Neurological and other complications of epidural steroid injections have been widely discussed in recent years. Consequently, the US FDA issued a warning about serious neurological events, some resulting in death, and consequently is requiring label changes. Neurological adverse events numbering 131, including 41 cases of arachnoiditis, have been identified by the FDA, and 700 cases of fungal meningitis following injection of contaminated steroids. A review of the literature reveals an overwhelming proportion of the complications are related to transforaminal epidural injections, with the majority of them to cervical transforaminal epidural injections. This perspective describes the prevalence of administering epidural injections, complications, pathoanatomy, mechanism of injury and various preventive strategies.

KEYWORDS:

arachnoiditis; epidural injections; epidural steroids; intra-arterial injection; local anesthetic; neurological complications; nonparticulate steroids; particulate steroids; steroid toxicity

PMID:
26059467
DOI:
10.2217/pmt.15.17
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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