All 17 patients underwent 41 balloon dilation procedures, with each patient undergoing one to seven procedures (mean, procedures). The technical success rate was 100%, and clinical success was achieved in % (11/17) of the patients. Five patients (%) showed no recurrence of dysphagia after one session of balloon dilation. Of 12 patients (%) with recurrence of dysphagia, 10 underwent repeat balloon dilation and two underwent gastrostomy after the first session of balloon dilation. The maximum balloon diameters were 15 mm (n = 22), 20 mm (n = 16), and 25 mm (n = 3). As minor complications, three cases of type 1 esophageal rupture occurred in two patients (%). There were no major complications.
Study Design Retrospective evaluation of consecutively performed fluoroscopically guided cervical nerve root blocks. Objective To describe the incidence of injectate central epidural flow with respect to needle tip position during fluoroscopically guided extraforaminal cervical nerve root blocks (ECNRBs). Methods Between February 19, 2003 and June 11, 2003, 132 consecutive fluoroscopically guided ECNRBs performed with contrast media in the final injected material (injectate) were reviewed on 95 patients with average of injections per patient. Fluoroscopic spot images documenting the procedure were obtained as part of standard quality assurance. An independent observer not directly involved in the procedures retrospectively reviewed the images, and the data were placed into a database. Image review was performed to determine optimal needle tip positioning for injectate epidural flow. Results Central epidural injectate flow was obtained in only % of injections with the needle tip lateral to midline of the lateral mass (zone 2). % of injectate went into epidural space when the needle tip was medial to midline of the lateral mass (zone 3). 100% of injectate flowed epidurally when the needle tip was medial to or at the medial cortex of the lateral mass (zone 4). There was no statistically significant difference with regards to central epidural flow and the needle tip position on lateral view. Conclusion To ensure central epidural flow with ECNRBs one must be prepared to pass the needle tip medial to midplane of the lateral mass or to medial cortex of the lateral mass. Approximately 16% of ECNRBs with needle tip medial to midline of the lateral mass did not flow into epidural space. One cannot claim a nerve block is an epidural block unless epidural flow of injectate is observed.
The skin dose mapping program developed in this work represents a new tool that, as the RDSR becomes available through automated export or real-time streaming, can provide the interventional physician information needed to modify behavior when clinically appropriate. The program is nonproprietary and transferable, and also functions independent to the software systems already installed on the control room workstation. The next step will be clinical implementation where the workflow will be optimized along with further analysis of real-time capabilities.