Lumbar Catheter Placement Using Paramedian Approach Under Fluoroscopic Guidance.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Lumbar catheter placement under fluoroscopic guidance may reduce the rate of technical failures and associated complications seen with insertion guided by manually palpable landmarks. METHODS We reviewed our experience with 43 attempted lumbar catheter placements using paramedian approach under fluoroscopic guidance and ascertained rates of technical success, and clinical events. RESULTS Among the 43 patients, 18, 1, and 1 patients were on aspirin (with dipyrimadole in 2), clopidogrel, and combination of both, respectively. Lumbar catheter placement was successful in 42 of 43 attempted placements. Floroscopic guidance was critical in three patients; one patient had severe cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) depletion (empty thecal sac phenomenon) following pituitary surgery leading to no cerebrospinal fluid return despite correct placement confirmation under fluoroscopy. Two patients had spinal needle placement at the junction between epidural and cerebrospinal fluid spaces (junctional position) leading to cerebrospinal fluid return but inability to introduce the lumbar catheter. After confirmation of position by the injection of contrast or radiographic landmarks the needle was advanced by indenting the subcutaneous tissue or reinserting at a spinal level above the first insertion. The lumbar catheter remained in position over a mean period (±standard deviation) of 4.1(±2.3) days. Improvement in hydrocephalus was seen in two patients with intracranial mass lesions. One patient developed cerebrospinal fluid leakage through the insertion track following removal of catheter and required skin suturing at the site of insertion. CONCLUSIONS We observed a high technical success rate with low rate of complications even in patients with intracranial mass lesions, those on ongoing antiplatelet medications or in whom insertion would not be possible guided by manually palpable landmarks.

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