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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2002 December;68(12):919-28

language: Italian

Percutaneous cervical cordotomy in the therapy of incidence pain

Mameli S. 1, Frau L. 2, Orrù A. 2, Marchi A. 2, Corbucci G. G. 2

1 Servizio Terapia Antalgica Ospedale «Businco», ASL n. 8, Cagliari
2 Istituto di Anestesia e Rianimazione Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cagliari
3 Gruppo di Studio di Ricerca SIAARTI


Background. Incident pain does not respond to opioid treatment and it is not easily relieved with other therapeutic strategies (local intrapleural or spinal analgesia, phenol blocks etc.). For this reason cervical percutaneous cordotomy at C1-C2 interspace is the only effective antalgic therapy in patients whose life expectancy is more than three to six months.
Methods. This study is a rectrospective review of 22 patients with cancer and incident pain from brachial, lumbar-sacral plexus injury and gluteal ulcer.
Results. Cordotomy provided excellent contralateral side pain relief in 21 patients; pain relief was maintained up to death and to the moment of last observation in living patients. In one deaf patient it was impossible to carry out the procedure due to incomplete co-operation and pain returned after 48 hours. Ventilatory depression caused death in one patient. Other complications recorded included ataxia, headache, motor deficit, dysesthesia and orthostatic hypotension.
Conclusions. The conclusion is drawn that percutaneous cordotomy should, in carefully selected cases, be considered the only technique to relieve incident pain.

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