CT-guided percutaneous selective cordotomy for treatment of intractable pain in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2002 Jun;144(6):595-9; discussion 599. doi: 10.1007/s00701-002-0945-2.


Malignant mesotheliomas are neoplasms that arise from mesothelial cells and cause intractable pain in the chest wall, usually located unilaterally. This local pain can be well controlled by computerized tomography (CT)-guided percutaneous cordotomy (PC). One hundred and fifty-three patients suffering from intractable pain due to malignancy were treated with CT-guided cordotomy between 1988 and 2001. Seventy of the 153 patients had pulmonary malignancy. Among these, 40 had bronchogenic carcinoma, 11 had Pancoast tumors and the remaining 19 had mesothelioma. The latter 19 cases with malignant mesothelioma suffering from unilateral pain were treated with CT-guided PC. In 18 cases, pain was controlled totally and, in one, partial pain control was obtained. Selective pain control was obtained in 15 cases, in whom narcotic drugs were discontinued postoperatively. Post-cordotomy dysesthesia was noted in only one case, and no complication or mortality was observed. In the treatment of intractable pain, CT-guided cordotomy is a perfect method in selected cases with malignancy. This is the most effective and suitable treatment modality for local pain due to malignant mesothelioma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cordotomy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / complications*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain / surgery*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / complications*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinothalamic Tracts / surgery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Treatment Outcome