Cervical epidural injection (CEI), which is widely used for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy, sometimes has been associated with post-operative complications. Recently, EPI-DetectionTM, which detects the negative pressure of the epidural space and notifies the proceduralist by flashing a light and producing a beeping sound, was introduced. We assumed that the newly developed device could be as safe and efficient as the conventional loss of resistance (LOR) method. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the EPI-DetectionTM and compare it to that of the conventional LOR method. We randomly assigned 57 patients to the LOR and EPI-Detection groups (29 and 28 patients, respectively). Subjects were treated with interlaminar CEI (ILCEI) using one of two methods. The measured parameters, i.e., operation time and radiation dose were lower in the EPI-DetectionTM group (4.6 ± 1.2 min vs. 6.9 ± 2.1 min; and 223.2 ± 206.7 mGy·cm2 vs. 380.3 ± 340.9 mGy·cm2, respectively; all p < 0.05) than in the LOR group. There were no complications noted in either group. Both the EPI-DetectionTM and LOR methods were safe and effective in detecting the epidural space, but the former was superior to the latter in terms of operation time and radiation exposure. The EPI-DetectionTM may help perform ILCEI safely.
Keywords: cervical radiculopathy; complications; epidural anesthesia; epidural injections; epidural space.