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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094


VANNI, Simone Maria D'Angelo. Accidental subarachnoid steroid injection during chronic lumbar pain treatment: case report. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2004, vol.54, n.6, pp.821-825. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Before epidural steroids were used in chronic lumbar pain, subarachnoid injection of these agents was the treatment of choice. Although still preconized by some authors, this technique may lead to severe complications with neurological sequelae. This report aimed at describing a case of accidental subarachnoid injection of steroid associated to local anesthetics during epidural puncture to treat lumbar pain. CASE REPORT: Male patient, 46 years old, followed by neurosurgery for presenting right sciatic pain for 9 month, refractory to clinical treatment due to L4-L5 disk protrusion confirmed by CT scan, without neurological deficit. Epidural puncture for pain treatment was performed in L4-L5 with 17G needle and 10 mL solution were injected containing 4 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine, 80 mg methylprednisolone and 4 mL of 0.9% saline. Although there has not been CSF reflux, 5 minutes after injection there were sensory block in T4 and motor block in T6, associated to blood pressure and heart rate decrease. CONCLUSIONS: Accidental subarachnoid injections with the association of steroids for pain relief may cause adverse effects. There are several risks, varying from mild transient symptoms to nervous injuries, including spinal cord injuries. Our patient had no sequelae from the accidental subarachnoid injection, probably because it has been a single injection.

Keywords : COMPLICATIONS [accidental injection]; DRUGS [Steroids]; PAIN [Chronic].

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