Safety of CT-guided cervical nerve root corticosteroid injections

Matthew W. Lukies, Wesley W.H. Teoh, Warren Clements

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Computed tomography-guided cervical nerve root corticosteroid injections are a commonly performed procedure for cervical radiculopathy. There have been major complications such as spinal cord infarction and posterior circulation stroke reported mostly with X-ray fluoroscopic-guided methods, however, there is relatively little data on the safety of newer CT-guided methods. The purpose of this study was to identify any major complications and evaluate the rate of minor complications from CT-guided cervical nerve root corticosteroid injections performed in a tertiary public hospital. Methods: Four hundred and three CT-guided cervical nerve root injection procedures were identified over a period from July 2015 to January 2018 using the radiology information system (RIS) and data collected about the technique and any immediate complications. Patient follow-up and delayed complications were then reviewed, either via outpatient clinic records or telephone consultation. Results: Two hundred and eighty-six procedures were performed by radiology registrars or fellows, and 117 by radiologists, most commonly via an anterolateral approach and injecting 4 mg (in 1 mL) of dexamethasone. Follow-up data were obtained for all 403 procedures and identified 16 minor complications, but no major neurovascular complications. Conclusion: The overall recorded rate of minor complications with CT-guided nerve root injection was 4.0% with no major neurovascular complications, suggesting that CT-guided transforaminal cervical corticosteroid injection is a safe procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-306
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • cervical radiculopathy
  • complications
  • CT fluoroscopy
  • nerve root
  • steroid injection

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