Cross-sectional CT Assessment of the Extent of Injectate Spread at CT Fluoroscopy-guided Cervical Epidural Interlaminar Steroid Injections.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background Previous studies analyzed contrast agent spread during cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injections (CILESIs) by using planar fluoroscopy and reported wide variance of the rate of spread to the ventral epidural space (VES). Cross-sectional CT allows for direct viewing of contrast agent in the VES, providing improved spread assessment and thereby informing needle placement decisions when targeting pain generators. Purpose To determine the extent of injectate spread at CT fluoroscopy-guided CILESI, with particular attention to the VES and bilateral neuroforamina, by using cross-sectional CT. Materials and Methods This study reviewed 83 consecutive CT fluoroscopy-guided CILESIs at which a postprocedural cervical spine CT was performed (June 2016 to December 2017). All procedures used the same injectate (2 mL corticosteroid, 3 mL contrast agent). Postprocedural CT scans were reviewed for the presence of contrast within the VES, dorsal epidural space, ipsilateral neuroforamen, and contralateral neuroforamen in every cervical interlaminar level. Descriptive data are presented as frequencies or means. McNemar tests or hierarchical logistic models were used to assess associations between covariates and contrast agent spread to particular locations. Results The study cohort included 73 individual patients (59% women; 43 of 73) (mean patient age, 57.6 years ± 11.5 [standard deviation]). Mean number of levels of cranial spread were 0.6 level for VES, 1.9 levels for contralateral neuroforamen, 2.1 levels for ipsilateral neuroforamen, and 3 levels for dorsal epidural space. No VES spread in any level was found with 35% (29 of 83) of injections. VES spread was more likely to occur in the level of needle placement (43%; 36 of 83) than in other interlaminar levels (19.5%; 97 of 498; P < .001). Spread was more likely to occur in the neuroforamen ipsilateral to the needle approach compared with contralateral (P < .001). Conclusion Cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injections have injectate spreads with a mean of less than one level cranially in the ventral epidural space (VES) and approximately two levels in the neuroforamen. VES spread occurs more frequently at the level of needle placement and within the ipsilateral neuroforamen. © RSNA, 2019.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Amrhein, TJ; Bozdogan, E; Vekaria, S; Patel, P; Lerebours, R; Luo, S; Kranz, PG

Published Date

  • September 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 292 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 723 - 729

PubMed ID

  • 31310176

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6716562

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-1315

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1148/radiol.2019182795


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States