Korean J Pain.  2018 Apr;31(2):125-131. 10.3344/kjp.2018.31.2.125.

Preliminary study on contrast flow analysis of thoracic transforaminal epidural block

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Dongsan Medical Center, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea. Parkkibum@dsmc.or.kr


The thoracic transforaminal epidural block (TTFEB) is usually performed to treat herpes zoster or postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Especially, multiple segmental involvements and approximate contrast medium spread range, according to volume, help to choose the proper drug volume in the transforaminal epidural block. This study investigated the contrast medium spread patterns of 1-ml to 3-ml TTFEBs.
A total of 26 patients with herpes zoster or PHN were enrolled in this study. All participants received 1 ml, 2 ml, or 3 ml of contrast medium. Results were divided into Groups A, B and C based on the volume (1, 2, or 3 ml), with n = 26 for each group. After the injection of contrast medium, the spread levels were estimated in both the lateral and anteroposterior (AP) images using fluoroscopy.
The cephalad spread of contrast medium in the lateral image as expressed by the median (interquartile range) was 2.00 levels (1.00-2.00) for Group A, 2.50 (2.00-3.00) for Group B, and 3.00 (2.00-4.00) for Group C. The caudal spread level of contrast medium was 1.00 (1.00-2.00) for Group A, 2.00 (2.00-3.00) for Group B, and 2.00 (2.00-3.00) for Group C. There was ventral and dorsal spread of the 3-ml contrast medium injection in 88% (23/26) of cases in the lateral image.
Injection of 3 ml of contrast medium through the foramina spread 6 levels in a cephalocaudal direction. Spread patterns revealed a cephalad preference. TTFEB resulted in dorsal and ventral spread in a high percentage of cases. This procedure may be useful for transferring drugs to the dorsal and ventral roots.


Contrast media; Epidural injection; Fluoroscopy; Herpes zoster; Nerve block; Postherpetic neuralgia; Spine

MeSH Terms

Contrast Media
Herpes Zoster
Injections, Epidural
Nerve Block
Neuralgia, Postherpetic
Spinal Nerve Roots
Contrast Media
Full Text Links
  • KJP
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
    DB Error: unknown error