Lumbosacral Epiduroscopy Findings Predict Treatment Outcome

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to evaluate the significance of diagnostic markers obtained through epiduroscopy by evaluating the accuracy of outcome prediction after treatment of epidural pathology using epiduroscopy.

Design

A prospective observational study of 139 patients was performed. Patients with chronic low back and leg pain were included. Of the 150 patients who underwent epiduroscopy in the year 2008 at a US hospital, 139 were available for evaluation at 1 month.

Study

Outcome of treatment was predicted based on direct visual information (hyperemia, vascularity, and fibrosis) and mechanical information (pain to touch, contrast spread, and patency) obtained through epiduroscopy.

Main Outcome Measures

Outcome of treatment was measured at 1 month. Accuracy of prediction of outcome was calculated using contingency tables and odds ratios.

Results

A prediction of outcome was made in 114 of 139 patients (82%). This prediction was correct in 89 of these 114 patients (accuracy of 78%). The sensitivity and specificity of epiduroscopy with respect to the prediction of outcome were 75% and 82%, respectively. These results were statistically significant (P < 0.01).

Results

In 25 of the 139 patients (18%), discrete epidural pathology was not observed. Nine of these 25 patients reported good relief after epiduroscopy. The sensitivity and specificity of epiduroscopy in the diagnosis of epidural pathology were 91% and 39%, respectively. These results were not statistically different (P > 0.1).

Conclusion

Our results show that lumbosacral epiduroscopy predicts outcome of treatment accurately in the majority of patients. This suggests that information obtained through epiduroscopy may carry significant diagnostic and prognostic value.

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