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Ann Neurol. 2018 Oct;84(4):601-610. doi: 10.1002/ana.25332. Epub 2018 Oct 4.

Randomized double-blinded clinical trial of 5% dextrose versus triamcinolone injection for carpal tunnel syndrome patients.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Integrated Pain Management Center, Tri-Service General Hospital, School of Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.



Perineural injection with 5% dextrose (D5W) is a novel strategy in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). In contrast, perineural injection with corticosteroid has been used for decades for treating CTS, but possible neurotoxicity has been a major concern. No studies investigating the comparative effects have been published so far. The authors performed a prospective, randomized, double-blinded, head-to-head comparative trial to compare these two approaches for patients having mild-to-moderate CTS.


Fifty-four participants with mild-to-moderate CTS were randomly divided into dextrose and steroid groups. The patients were administered 1 session of perineural injection with 5ml D5W (dextrose group) or 3ml triamcinolone acetonide mixed with 2ml normal saline (steroid group), under ultrasound guidance. A visual analog scale was assigned to assess the primary outcome. The secondary outcomes were assessed using the Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire, cross-sectional area of the median nerve, and electrophysiological studies. The assessment was performed prior to injection and 1, 3, 4, and 6 months postinjection.


All patients (27 wrists per group) completed the study. Compared with the steroid group, the dextrose group exhibited a significant reduction in pain and disability through the 4th to the 6th month (p < 0.01).


Our study demonstrates that perineural injection of D5W is more beneficial than that of corticosteroid in patients with mild-to-moderate CTS at 4 to 6 months postinjection. Ann Neurol 2018;84:601-610.


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