Spinal CT-guided interventional procedures for management of chronic back pain

J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2005 May;16(5):689-97. doi: 10.1097/01.RVI.0000156193.94573.48.


Purpose: Image-guided interventional procedures have arisen as an alternative for management of back pain, with controversial indications and efficacy. This study describes the technique, clinical impact, and complications of computed tomography (CT)-guided infiltrations for the management of chronic back pain.

Materials and methods: One hundred eleven patients with chronic back pain treated with CT-guided infiltrations were studied prospectively. Procedures performed included nerve root, facet joint, epidural, and sacroiliac joint blocks. Pain intensity was evaluated with use of a visual analog scale.

Results: Two hundred twenty-two infiltrations were performed in 111 consecutive patients. After 18 months of follow-up, pain improvement lasted for a mean duration of 9 months and the complication rate was less than 1%. Moderate to good pain response was seen in 95% of followed patients and 4% of patients required surgery.

Conclusion: Spinal CT-guided infiltration constitutes an effective therapy for chronic back pain. This series confirms a low complication rate, good response, and high therapeutic value.

MeSH terms

  • Back Pain / diagnostic imaging
  • Back Pain / drug therapy*
  • Back Pain / etiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography, Interventional / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Treatment Outcome