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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

versión impresa ISSN 1134-8046


ALDRETE, J. A. et al. Correlation between radiological findings and adverse events probably causing arachnoiditis. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2005, vol.12, n.5, pp.269-276. ISSN 1134-8046.

Clinical diagnosis of arachnoiditis is characterized by a burning, ardent pain with dysesthesia and vesical, rectal and sexual dysfunction that appear after an adverse event during a spinal surgical procedure; it can be confirmed through magnetic resonance or myelogram followed by lumbar spine tomography. In this study, a retrospective review was conducted of image studies from 436 patients referred to a pain clinic with diagnosis of arachnoiditis in order to identify specific patterns on the radiological images that could help to determine the potential etiology of this disease. The apparent cause was correlated to the appearance of neurological changes after spine injections, interventions or surgical procedures. Neurological deficits were observed in 160 patients after myelograms, rachidian or peridural anesthesia, epidural blood patches or injection of steroids or neurolytic drugs for the management of chronic pain. Eleven (6.8%) of these patients had inflammation of roots, 135 (84.3%) had roots in bunches and 12 cases (7,5%) had roots adhered to the dural sac. Two cases of syringomyelia were observed in patients with thoracal or high lumbar peridural anesthesia. Of 276 other patients in which the clinical diagnosis of arachnoiditis was established after spine surgical procedures, 259 patients (93.8%) had roots in bunches, 152 (55%) had a deformed dural sac and peridural fibrosis was observed in 241 patients (87.3%). Pseudomeningocele and intrathecal calcifications were observed in 21 (7.6%) and 4 (0.15%) of the surgical cases, respectively. It is concluded that radiological images in cases of arachnoiditis caused by injections and invasive procedures are only characterized by roots in bunches. However, surgical patients have, in addition to roots in bunches, deformation of the dural sac and healing and fibrotic tissue at the epidural space undergoing surgery.

Palabras clave : Arachnoiditis; Neuropathic pain; Neurological deficit; Peridural fibrosis; Dural deformation; Pseudomeningocele.

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