Bleeding and Neurologic Complications in 58,000 Interventional Pain Procedures
AbstractBackground and Objectives
Interventional pain procedures are commonly performed on patients receiving antiplatelet therapy. However, there is limited evidence to support or refute the safety of this practice. The goal of this investigation was to assess the rate of bleeding complications in a large cohort of patients undergoing intermediate- and low-risk pain procedures, with a specific focus on antiplatelet and anticoagulant medication use and baseline coagulation abnormalities.Methods
This is a retrospective cohort study of adult patients undergoing low- and intermediate-risk pain procedures from 2005 through 2014 by the division of pain medicine at a single academic tertiary care center. Baseline characteristics, antiplatelet and anticoagulant medication use, coagulation parameters, and procedural details were extracted from the electronic medical record. The primary outcome was a bleeding-related complication requiring emergency medicine, neurology, or neurosurgical evaluation within 31 days. The secondary outcome was the presence or absence of a periprocedural red blood cell transfusion occurring within 72 hours of needle placement.Results
A total of 58,066 procedures were performed on 24,590 unique patients. Preprocedural aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy was present for 17,825 procedures (30.7%). Sixteen procedures were associated with perioperative red blood cell transfusion (0.03%), with no difference based on preprocedural nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, including aspirin, or other anticoagulation use (P = 0.107). Five patients (0.009%) had a neurologic complication requiring further evaluation, of which 2 were likely related to procedural bleeding.Conclusions
Bleeding complications are rare in patients undergoing low- or intermediate-risk pain procedures even in the presence of antiplatelet medications. This is consistent with recently released guidelines.