Epidurography and therapeutic epidural injections: technical considerations and experience with 5334 cases. (1/731)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Even in experienced hands, blind epidural steroid injections result in inaccurate needle placement in up to 30% of cases. The use of fluoroscopy and radiologic contrast material provides confirmation of accurate needle placement within the epidural space. We describe our technique and experience with contrast epidurography and therapeutic epidural steroid injections, and review the frequency of systemic and neurologic complications. METHODS: Epidural steroid injections were performed in 5489 consecutive outpatients over a period of 5 1/2 years by three procedural neuroradiologists. In 155 cases (2.8%), the injections were done without contrast material owing to either confirmed or suspected allergy. The remaining 5334 injections were performed after epidurography through the same needle. Patients and referring clinicians were instructed to contact us first regarding complications or any problem potentially related to the injection. In addition, the referring clinicians' offices were instructed to contact us regarding any conceivable procedure-related complications. RESULTS: Only 10 patients in the entire series required either oral (n = 5) or intravenous (n = 5) sedation. Four complications (0.07%) required either transport to an emergency room (n = 2) or hospitalization (n = 2). None of the complications required surgical intervention, and all were self-limited with regard to symptoms and imaging manifestations. Fluoroscopic needle placement and epidurography provided visual confirmation of accurate needle placement, distribution of the injectate, and depiction of epidural space disease. CONCLUSION: Epidurography in conjunction with epidural steroid injections provides for safe and accurate therapeutic injection and is associated with an exceedingly low frequency of untoward sequelae. It can be performed safely on an outpatient basis and does not require sedation or special monitoring.  (+info)

Efficacy of mandibular topical anesthesia varies with the site of administration. (2/731)

This study compared the threshold of pain sensitivity in the anterior mandibular mucobuccal fold with the posterior. This was followed by a comparison of the reduction of needle insertion pain in the anterior mucobuccal fold and the pterygo-temporal depression by either topical anesthesia or nitrous oxide inhalation. The pain threshold was determined by an analgometer, a pain-measuring device that depends on pressure readings; additionally, pain caused by a needle inserted by a normal technique was assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS). The threshold of pain was significantly lower in the incisor and canine regions than in the premolar and the molar regions (P < 0.001). Compared to a placebo, topical anesthesia significantly reduced the pain from needle insertion in the mucobuccal fold adjacent to the mandibular canine (P < 0.001), but did not significantly reduce pain in the pterygotemporal depression. The addition of 30% nitrous oxide did not significantly alter pain reduction compared to a control of 100% oxygen. These results suggest that topical anesthesia application may be effective in reducing the pain of needle insertion in the anterior mandibular mucobuccal fold, but may not be as effective for a standard inferior alveolar nerve block. The addition of 30% nitrous oxide did not lead to a significant improvement.  (+info)

A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for neck pain. (3/731)

OBJECTIVE: To establish whether there is evidence for or against the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of neck pain. METHODS: A systematic literature review was undertaken of studies that compared needle or laser acupuncture with a control procedure for the treatment of neck pain. Two reviewers independently extracted data concerning study methods, quality and outcome. RESULTS: Overall, the outcomes of 14 randomized controlled trials were equally balanced between positive and negative. Acupuncture was superior to waiting-list in one study, and either equal or superior to physiotherapy in three studies. Needle acupuncture was not superior to indistinguishable sham control in four out of five studies. Of the eight high-quality trials, five were negative. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the hypothesis that acupuncture is efficacious in the treatment of neck pain is not based on the available evidence from sound clinical trials. Further studies are justified.  (+info)

Ocular explosion during cataract surgery: a clinical, histopathological, experimental, and biophysical study. (4/731)

INTRODUCTION: An increasing number of cases are being recognized in which a peribulbar anesthetic for cataract surgery has been inadvertently injected directly into the globe under high pressure until the globe ruptures or explodes. We reviewed the records of 6 such cases (one of which was reported previously by us), and one additional case has been reported in the literature. Surprisingly, 2 of these 7 cases went unrecognized at the time, and the surgeons proceeded with the cataract operation; all of the patients ultimately developed severe visual loss and/or loss of the eye. OBJECTIVES: To reproduce this eye explosion in a live anesthetized rabbit model and to perform a clinical, histopathological, experimental, biophysical, and mathematical analysis of this injury. METHODS: Eyes of live anesthetized rabbits were ruptured by means of the injection of saline directly into the globe under high pressure. The clinical and pathological findings of the ruptured human and animal eyes were documented photographically and/or histopathologically. An experimental, biophysical, and mathematical analysis of the pressures and forces required to rupture the globe via direct injection using human cadavers, human eye-bank eyes, and classic physics and ophthalmic formulas was performed. The laws of Bernoulli, LaPlace, Friedenwald, and Pascal were applied to the theoretical and experimental models of this phenomenon. RESULTS: The clinical and pathological findings of scleral rupture, retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, and lens extrusion were observed. In the exploded human and rabbit eyes, the scleral ruptures appeared at the equator, the limbal area, or the posterior pole. In 2 of the 7 human eyes, the anterior segments appeared entirely normal despite the rupture, and cataract surgery was completed; surgery was canceled in the other 4 cases. In 4 of the 5 injected and ruptured rabbit eyes, the anterior segments appeared essentially normal. The experiments with human eye-bank eyes and the theoretical analyses of this entity show that the pressure required to produce such an injury is much more easily obtained with a 3- or 5-mL syringe than with a syringe 10 mL or larger. CONCLUSIONS: Explosion of an eyeball during the injection of anesthesia for ocular surgery is a devastating injury that may go unrecognized. The probability of an ocular explosion can be minimized by careful use of a syringe 10 mL or larger with a blunt needle, by discontinuing the injection if resistance is met, and by inspecting the globe prior to ocular massage or placement of a Honan balloon. When ocular explosion occurs, immediate referral to and intervention by a vitreoretinal surgeon is optimal. Practicing ophthalmologists should be aware of this blinding but preventable complication of ocular surgery.  (+info)

Radiofrequency ablation of unresectable primary and metastatic hepatic malignancies: results in 123 patients. (5/731)

OBJECTIVE: To describe the safety and efficacy of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to treat unresectable malignant hepatic tumors in 123 patients. BACKGROUND: The majority of patients with primary or metastatic malignancies confined to the liver are not candidates for resection because of tumor size, location, or multifocality or inadequate functional hepatic reserve. Local application of heat is tumoricidal; therefore, the authors investigated a novel RFA system to treat patients with unresectable hepatic cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with hepatic malignancies were entered into a prospective, nonrandomized trial. The liver tumors were treated percutaneously or during surgery under ultrasound guidance using a novel LeVeen monopolar array needle electrode and an RF 2000 generator. All patients were followed to assess complications, treatment response, and recurrence of malignant disease. RESULTS: RFA was used to treat 169 tumors (median diameter 3.4 cm, range 0.5 to 12 cm) in 123 patients. Primary liver cancer was treated in 48 patients (39.1%), and metastatic liver tumors were treated in 75 patients (60.9%). Percutaneous and intraoperative RFA was performed in 31 patients (35.2%) and 92 patients (74.8%), respectively. There were no treatment-related deaths, and the complication rate after RFA was 2.4%. All treated tumors were completely necrotic on imaging studies after completion of RFA treatments. With a median follow-up of 15 months, tumor has recurred in 3 of 169 treated lesions (1.8%), but metastatic disease has developed at other sites in 34 patients (27.6%). CONCLUSIONS: RFA is a safe, well-tolerated, and effective treatment to achieve tumor destruction in patients with unresectable hepatic malignancies. Because patients are at risk for the development of new metastatic disease after RFA, multimodality treatment approaches that include RFA should be investigated.  (+info)

Confirmation of caudal needle placement using nerve stimulation. (6/731)

BACKGROUND: The study was designed to examine a new method of confirming proper caudal needle placement using nerve stimulation. METHODS: Thirty-two pediatric patients were studied. A 22-gauge insulated needle was inserted into the caudal canal via the sacral notch until a "pop" was felt. The needle placement was classified as correct or incorrect depending upon the presence or absence of anal sphincter contraction (S2-S4) to electrical simulation (1 to 10 mA). RESULTS: Three patients were excluded, two because they inadvertently received neuromuscular blockers and one because the patient's anatomy precluded any attempt at a caudal block. The sensitivity and specificity of the test were both 100% in predicting clinical outcomes of the caudal block. Six patients had a negative stimulation test after the first attempt to place the needle. Four of these went on to receive a second attempt of needle insertion after a subcutaneous bulge or resistance to local anesthetic injection were observed. Following needle reinsertion, positive stimulation tests were elicited. These patients received the local anesthetic injection with ease and had good analgesia postoperatively. No attempt was made to reinsert the needle in the remaining two patients with a negative stimulation test, as they did not show subcutaneous bulge or resistance upon injection. These patients had poor analgesia postoperatively. The positive predictive value of the test was greater than the presence of a "pop" alone (P < 0.05) but not significantly different (P = 0.492) over the presence of "pop" and easy injection. CONCLUSION: This test may be used as a teaching and adjuvant tool in performing caudal block.  (+info)

Transfundal insertion of a Veress needle in laparoscopy of obese subjects: a practical alternative. (7/731)

Because induction of artificial pneumoperitoneum through the infra-umbilical route is associated with complications in laparoscopic procedures, especially in obese patients, we performed a prospective randomized study comparing the conventional infra-umbilical route with a transfundal route, in which the Veress needle is inserted into the peritoneal cavity through the uterine fundus. One hundred obese subjects (body mass index >/=25 kg/m(2)) scheduled for laparoscopic sterilization were randomized into two groups. In the infra-umbilical group pneumoperitoneum was achieved at a ratio (punctures/pneumoperitoneum) of 56/49 (1.14). There was one failure in this group. In the transfundal group the ratio was 53/51 (1.04). There was no clinically significant bleeding in either of the groups; nor were there any major complications. One subject in whom the infra-umbilical route failed was moved to the transfundal group. This subject also underwent dilatation and curettage at the time of laparoscopy. Postoperatively she contracted chlamydial pelvic inflammatory disease. No other infections were detected postoperatively in either of the groups. In conclusion, the transfundal route of inducing artificial pneumoperitoneum proved to be easy, safe and effective.  (+info)

Hemostatic efficacy of fibrin sealant (human) on expanded poly-tetrafluoroethylene carotid patch angioplasty: a randomized clinical trial. (8/731)

PURPOSE: The efficacy of solvent-detergent-treated fibrin sealant (human [FSH]) for controlling anastomotic bleeding from expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) patch angioplasty during carotid endarterectomy was evaluated, and FSH was compared with thrombin-soaked gelatin sponge (Gelfoam; TSG). METHODS: The study was of a randomized, open-label, single-site, single-treatment, parallel design that took place in a referral center with hospitalized patients. Forty-seven adult patients (33 men, 14 women) underwent elective carotid endarterectomy. Patients were randomized to receive either FSH (N = 24) or TSG (N = 23). FSH was obtained as an investigational new drug. FSH was applied as a liquid by means of a dual-syringe technique. Heparin anticoagulation, patch thickness, and suture type were standardized. Two different needle sizes were used (CV-6, PT-13: N = 21 [FSH: N = 10, TSG: N = 11]; CV-6, PT-9: N = 26 [FSH: N = 14, TSG: N = 13]). The FSH or TSG was applied to the ePTFE patch, and then blood flow was restored through the carotid artery. Degree of anticoagulation was assessed by anti-factor Xa activity. The time from restoration of carotid blood flow until achieving hemostasis was recorded. The blood loss from patch suture hole bleeding was measured. Completion intraoperative duplex ultrasound scanning was performed in all cases. Heparin was reversed with protamine sulfate. The primary end point was successful hemostasis within 15 minutes of restoration of carotid blood flow. The secondary end points were the amount of blood loss caused by suture line bleeding and the time to achieve hemostasis. RESULTS: There was no difference in the number of patients with complete hemostasis at 15 minutes (TSG, 13 of 23; FSH, 12 of 24; P =.77). The measured blood loss was 99.0 +/- 119.9 (SD) mL for TSG, and 105.0 +/- 107.9 mL for FSH (P =.86). The time to hemostasis was the same for both groups (TSG, 16.5 +/- 16.5 minutes; FSH, 16.6 +/- 14.2 minutes; P =.97). Within both treatment groups, the use of larger needles (PT-13) was associated with greater blood loss (FSH, 169.7 +/- 124.2 mL; TSG, 172.7 +/- 151.5 mL) than was the use of smaller needles (PT-9; FSH, 58.8 +/- 66.3 mL; TSG, 34.1 +/- 25.6 mL; P =.036, P =.001, respectively). There were no postoperative strokes or bleeding complications in either group. No abnormalities were shown in either group by means of completion carotid duplex ultrasound scanning. CONCLUSION: FSH was equivalent, but not superior to, TSG in achieving hemostasis during carotid endarterectomy performed with ePTFE patch angioplasty. Adhesion properties of FSH to ePTFE are possibly different than those to native tissue and warrant additional investigation.  (+info)