Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(12):2736-2742. doi:10.7150/ijms.59695 This issue Cite
1. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Uijeongbu Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University School of Medicine, Uijeongbu-Si, Republic of Korea.
2. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Background: Chronic lumbar radicular pain often accompanies neuropathic pain. The treatment may follow a screening for probable neuropathic pain rather than the definitive diagnosis, which is often difficult in daily practice. However, interventional management may have limited effects on symptoms in patients with neuropathic radicular pain refractory to conservative treatments. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the factors associated with successful responses after lumbar epidural intervention in patients with chronic lumbar neuropathic radicular pain determined by Douleur Neuropathique 4 (DN4).
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 221 chronic lumbar radicular pain patients using a DN4 questionnaire prior to the epidural interventional procedure. The patients were divided into two groups according to the DN4 questionnaire: <4-point DN4 and ≥4 DN4. The numerical rating scale (NRS) for pain intensity, changes in physical functional status, and the use of pain medication were obtained before and 1 month after the procedure. Successful responder was defined based on robust combination of outcome parameters. The factors associated with successful response were analyzed using univariate and multivariate regression.
Results: We found 170 (76.9%) patients with DN4 <4 and 51 (23.1%) with a score ≥4. Among the total 221 patients, 129 (58.4%) were successful responders and 92 (41.6%) were non-responders regardless of DN4 score. We observed a significantly lower proportion of successful responders among patients with a DN4 score ≥4 (22, 43.1%) than patients with a score <4 (107, 62.9%) (P=0.012). After adjusting in multivariate regression analysis, the DN4 score was independently associated with response after lumbar epidural intervention (odds ratio [OR]=0.838; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.718-0.978; P=0.025). In subgroup logistic regression analysis according to the DN4 score, adjuvant administration of hypertonic saline during epidural interventions in patients with a DN4 score ≥4 (OR=3.71; CI=1.142-12.457; P=0.029) was associated with the success of the lumbar epidural procedure at 1 month.
Conclusion: The adjuvant use of hypertonic saline in lumbar epidural interventions may be effective at least 1 month after the intervention in patients with probable neuropathic lumbar radicular pain ≥4 using the DN4.
Keywords: neuropathic pain, chronic pain, radicular pain, lumbar, Douleur Neuropathique 4, hypertonic saline