Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is one of the most difficult pain syndromes to treat. Invasive treatments may be considered when patients fail to obtain adequate pain relief from noninvasive treatment approaches. Here, we present three cases of PHN in the mandibular branch treated with ultrasound-assisted mental nerve block and pulsed radiofrequency treatment. None of the patients had adequate pain relief from the medical therapy, so we performed the mental nerve block on the affected side under ultrasound assistance. Two patients showed satisfactory pain relief continuously over 12 months without any further interventions, whereas one patient only had short-term pain relief. For the patient had short-term pain relief we performed pulsed radiofrequency treatment (PRFT) on the left mental nerve under ultrasound assistance. After PRFT, the patient had adequate pain relief for 6 months and there was no need for further management.
mental nerve; postherpetic neuralgia; pulsed radiofrequency treatment; ultrasound
This study was designed to assess the effects of pneumoperitoneal pressure (PP) and positional changes on the respiratory mechanics during laparoscopy assisted colectomy.
Peak inspiratory pressure, plateau pressure, lung compliance, and airway resistance were recorded in PP of 10 mmHg and 15 mmHg, with the position change in 5 steps: head-down at 20°, head-down at 10°, neutral position, head-up at 10° and head-up at 20°.
When the patient was placed head-down, the position change accentuated the effects of pneumoperitoneum on respiratory mechanics. However, when the patient was placed in a head-up position during pneumoperitoneum the results showed no pattern. In the 20° head-up position with the PP being 10 mmHg, the compliance increased from 30.6 to 32.6 ml/cmH2O compared with neutral position (P = 0.002). However with the PP being 15 mmHg, the compliance had not changed compared with neutral position (P = 0.989). In 20° head-down position with the PP of 10 mmHg, the compliance was measured as 24.2 ml/cmH2O. This was higher than that for patients in the 10° head-down position with a PP of 15 mmHg, which was recorded as 21.2 ml/cmH2O. Also in the airway resistance, the patient in the 20° head-down position with the PP of 10 mmHg showed 15.8 cmH2O/L/sec, while the patient in the 10° head-down position with the PP of 15 mmHg showed 16.2 cmH2O/L/sec of airway resistance. These results were not statistically significant but still suggested that the head-down position accentuated the effects of pneumoperitoneum on respiratory mechanics.
Our results suggest that respiratory mechanics are affected by the patient position and the level of PP - the latter having greater effect.
Laparocolectomy; Pneumoperitoneum; Position; Respiratory mechanics
This study was designed to find appropriate lubricant for streamed lined liner of pharyngeal airway™ (SLIPA™). We evaluated the incidence of sore throat, nausea, vomiting, hoarseness, paresthesia and blood stain after using saline, water soluble gel and 2% lidocaine gel as a SLIPA™ lublicant.
One hundred twenty three patients scheduled for minor surgery to whom the SLIPA™ was considered suitable were randomly allocated to one of three groups which receive normal saline, water soluble gel or 2% lidocaine gel as a SLIPA™ lublicant. Patients were interviewed at recovery room, post operation 6-12 hour, post operation 18-24 hour about sore throat and other complications.
There were no statistical difference in sore throat and blood stain among three groups. Also there were no statistical differences in hoarseness, nausea, vomiting. The incidence of paresthesia in 2% lidocaine gel group was significantly higher than those of the other two groups immediately after operation, but it was resolved after leaving the recovery room.
Our results suggest that normal saline, water soluble gel and 2% lidocaine gel are all available as a SLIPA™ lubricant. Size of SLIPA™, insertion technique and difficulty of insertion should be further investigated as the main causes of a sore throat and other complications which can occur after the insertion of SLIPA™.
Lubricant; SLIPA; Sore throat
Epidural steroid injection (ESI) is one of the most common procedures for patients presenting low back pain and radiculopathy. However, there is no clear consensus on what constitutes appropriate steroid use for ESIs. To investigate optimal steroid injection methods for ESIs, surveys were sent to all academic pain centers and selected private practices in Korea via e-mail.
Among 173 pain centers which requested the public health insurance reimbursements for their ESIs and were enrolled in the Korean Pain Society, 122 completed questionnaires were returned, for a rate of 70.5%; also returned were surveys from 39 academic programs and 85 private practices with response rates of 83.0% and 65.9%, respectively.
More than half (55%) of Korean pain physicians used dexamethasone for ESIs. The minimum interval of subsequent ESIs at the academic institutions (3.1 weeks) and the private practices (2.1 weeks) were statistically different (P = 0.01).
Although there was a wide range of variation, there were no significant differences between the academic institutions and the private practices in terms of the types and single doses of steroids for ESIs, the annual dose of steroids, or the limitations of doses in the event of diabetes, with the exception of the minimum interval before the subsequent ESI.
dexamethasone; dose; epidural; radiculopathy; spinal pain; steroid; survey; triamcinolone
A 69-year-old female patient visited the emergency room with fever (38.3℃) and dyspnea. She had been taking prednisolone (5 mg once per day) and methotrexate (2.5 mg once per week) for rheumatoid arthritis for 2 years. Chest computed tomography (CT) showed bilateral, multifocal ground glass opacity with interlobular septal thickening. Peripheral blood leukocyte count was 6,520/mm3 (neutrophils, 77.4%; eosinophils, 12.1%). During the night, mechanical ventilation was initiated due to the development of severe hypoxemia. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid showed a high proportion of eosinophils (49%). Her symptoms improved dramatically after commencement of intravenous methylprednisolone therapy. This is the first report of idiopathic acute eosinophilic pneumonia developing in a current user of systemic corticosteroids.
Acute eosinophilic pneumonia; respiratory failure; corticosteroid
Hemifacial spasm is defined as unilateral, involuntary, irregular twitching of all or parts of the muscles innervated by facial nerves. Here, we present a case of recurrent hemifacial spasm after microvascular decompression (MVD) treated with pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) treatment with good results. A 35-year-old woman suffered from recurrent hemifacial spasm after MVD that was refractory to medical treatment and botulinum toxin injections. We attempted a left facial nerve block twice. Then, we applied PRF at a maximum temperature of 42℃ for 120 sec. Some response was observed, so we applied PRF two additional times. The frequency of twitch decreased from 3-4 Hz to < 0.5 Hz, and subjective severity on a visual analogue scale also decreased from 10/10 to 2-3/10. PRF treatment might be an effective medical treatment for refractory hemifacial spasm and has fewer complications and is less invasive compared with those of surgery.
facial nerve; hemifacial spasm; pulsed radiofrequency treatment
A 60-year-old man presented with pain on the left cheek and lateral nose. The patient had been diagnosed with facial herpes zoster in the left V2 area 6 months previously. Medical treatment was prescribed for 6 months but it had little effect. We blocked the left infraorbital nerve under ultrasound guidance, but pain relief was short term. Therefore, we performed pulsed radiofrequency treatment on the left infraorbital nerve under ultrasound guidance. Six months after the procedure, the reduction of pain was still maintained, and there was no need for further management.
infraorbital nerve; radiofrequency; ultrasound
Milnacipran is a balanced serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor with minimal side effects and broad safety margin. It acts primarily on the descending inhibitory pain pathway in brain and spinal cord. In many animal studies, intrathecal administration of milnacipran is effective in neuropathic pain management. However, there is no study for the neurological safety of milnacipran when it is administered neuraxially. This study examined the neurotoxicity of epidural milnacipran by observing behavioral and sensory-motor changes with histopathological examinations of spinal cords in rats.
Sixty rats were divided into 3 groups, with each group receiving epidural administration of either 0.3 ml (3 mg) of milnacipran (group M, n = 20), 0.3 ml of 40% alcohol (group A, n = 20), or 0.3 ml of normal saline (group S, n = 20).
There were no abnormal changes in the behavioral, sensory-motor, or histopathological findings in all rats of groups M and S over a 3-week observation period, whereas all rats in group A had abnormal changes.
Based on these findings, the direct epidural administration of milnacipran in rats did not present any evidence of neurotoxicity in behavioral, sensory-motor and histopathological evaluations.
epidural injection; milnacipran; neurotoxicity
Optiscope™ is a newly developed video stylet device. This study evaluated and compared the hemodynamic changes observed after endotracheal intubation with video stylet and after conventional laryngoscopic endotracheal intubation.
Fifty-eight adult patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status class 1 or 2, undergoing general anesthesia, were randomized into two groups: one group of patients were intubated using video stylet (n = 29) and the other group were intubated using direct laryngoscope (n = 29). Systolic blood pressure (SBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR), POGO (percentage of glottic opening) score, time for intubation and degree of sore throat were recorded.
There were no significant differences in the SBP, MAP, DBP, HR, and the sore throat incidence between the two groups. Optiscope™ produced better POGO scores, but time for intubation was longer than with conventional laryngoscope.
Optiscope™, when compared with conventional laryngoscope for intubation, does not modify the hemodynamic response, but it provides a better view of the vocal cords.
Bronchoscopes; Endotracheal intubation; Fiberoptics; Hemodynamics; Laryngoscope; Video recording
Seizure associated with antiemetics is rare. We report seizure associated with a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist in a 38 years old female. The patient underwent ureterorenoscopic lithotripsy due to left upper ureter stone. After operation, the patient complained of nausea in the postanesthetic recovery unit. In order to subside symptom, the patient was administrated 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, palonosetron, 0.075 mg intravenously. Shortly after administration of that, the patient developed generalized tonic-clonic seizures. The symptom was subsided after midazolam and thiopental sodium were injected. But 40 minutes later, seizure recurred and subsided with midazolam again. The patient recovered completely without any specific sequelae.
Palonosetron; Seizure; 5-HT3R antagonist
In the midthoracic region, a fluroscope guided epidural block has been proposed by using a pedicle as a landmark to show the height of the interlaminar space (Nagaro's method). However, clinical implication of this method was not fully evaluated. We studied the clinical usefulness of a fluoroscope guided thoracic epidural block in the midthoracic region.
Twenty four patients were scheduled to receive an epidural block at the T6-7 intervertebral space. The patients were placed in the prone position. The needle entry point was located at the junction between midline of the pedicle paralleled to the midline of the T7 vertebral body (VB) and the lower border of T7 VB on anteroposterior view of the fluoroscope. The needle touched and walked up the lamina, and the interlaminar space (ILS) was sought near the midline of the VB at the height of the pedicle.
The authors could not insert an epidural needle at T6-7 ILS in two patients and it was instead inserted at T5-6 ILS. However, other patients showed easy insertion at T6-7 ILS. The mean inward and upward angulations were 25° and 55° respectively. The mean actual depth and calculated depth from skin to thoracic epidural space were 5.1 cm and 6.1 cm respectively. Significant correlation between actual needle depth and body weight, podendal index (kg/m) or calculated needle depth was noted.
The fluorposcope guided epidural block by Nagaro's method was useful in the midthoracic region. However, further study for the caudal shift of needle entry point may be needed.
Analgesia; Epidural; Fluoroscopy; Thoracic vertebrae
Nucleoplasty is a minimally invasive spinal surgery using a Coblation® technique that creates small voids within the disc. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of cervical nucleoplasty in patients with cervical disc disorder.
Between March 2008 and December 2009, 22 patients with cervical disc disorders were treated with cervical nucleoplasty after failed conservative treatment. All procedures were performed under local anesthesia, and fluoroscopic guidance and voids were created in the disc with the Perc™ DC Spine Wand™. Clinical outcomes were evaluated by the Modified Macnab criteria and VAS score at preprocedure, postprocedure 1 month, and 6 months.
Six patients had one, eight patients had two and eight patients had three discs treated; a total of 46 procedures was performed. Mean VAS reduced from 9.3 at preprocedure to 3.7 at postprocedure 1 month and to 3.4 at postprocedure 6 months. There was no significant complication related to the procedure within the first month. Outcomes were good or excellent in 17/22 (77.3%) cases. Postprocedure magnetic resonance imaging was acquired in two patients after two months showing morphologic evidence of volume reduction of protruded disc material in one patient but not in the other.
Percutaneous decompression with a nucleoplasty using a Coblation® technique in the treatment of cervical disc disorder is a safe, minimally-invasive and less uncomfortable procedure, with an excellent short-term clinical outcome.
cervical; disc; diskectomy; nucleoplasty; percutaneous
Occipital neuralgia is a form of headache that involves the posterior occiput in the greater or lesser occipital nerve distribution. Pain can be severe and persistent with conservative treatment. We present a case of intractable occipital neuralgia that conventional therapeutic modalities failed to ameliorate. We speculate that, in this case, the cause of headache could be the greater occipital nerve entrapment by the obliquus capitis inferior muscle. After steroid and local anesthetic injection into obliquus capitis inferior muscles under fluoroscopic and sonographic guidance, the visual analogue scale was decreased from 9-10/10 to 1-2/10 for 2-3 weeks. The patient eventually got both greater occipital neurectomy and partial resection of obliquus capitis inferior muscles due to the short term effect of the injection. The successful steroid and local anesthetic injection for this occipital neuralgia shows that the refractory headache was caused by entrapment of greater occipital nerves by obliquus capitis inferior muscles.
greater occipital nerve; obliquus capitis inferior muscle; occipital neuralgia