Background and Objectives: No study has compared cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injection (CIESI) with epidural catheter advancement to the side and level of pathology versus standard C7-T1 CIESI. This study investigated whether cervical radicular pain is more effectively treated by CIESI with a targeted epidural catheter versus a standard C7-T1 approach. Methods: Prospective, randomized, single-blinded trial. Primary outcome: Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) pain at 1 month. Secondary outcomes: Oswestry Neck Disability Index (ONDI), Pain Disability Index (PDI), McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC), daily morphine equivalents (DME), and Medication Quantification Scale (MQS) III scores. Results: Seventy-six participants with a median age of 48 years (IQR, 40-56 years), 59% female, with C4 (n = 2), C5 (n = 27), or C6 (n = 47) radicular pain were enrolled. At 1 month in the catheter and no catheter groups, respectively: 26 (72%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 57%-87%) and 23 (60%; 95% CI, 45%-75%) participants reported 50% or greater NRS reduction; 24 (67%; 95% CI, 52%-84%) and 23 (58%; 95% CI, 42%-73%) participants reported 30% or greater ONDI reduction. There were no group differences in median NRS, ONDI, PDI, MPQ, PGIC, DME, orMQSIII scores (P > 0.05). Intergroup differenceswere not observed at any follow-up interval. Conclusions: This trial showed no significant difference in clinical outcomes with CIESI using a targeted epidural catheter compared to a standard C7-T1 approach for the treatment of unilateral cervical radicular pain at the C5 or C6 level. Both techniques were associated with clinically meaningful improvement across outcome domains of pain, function, disability, and medication use. These effects persisted to 6-month follow-up. The study was registered at Clinical Trials.gov (NCT02095197).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine