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Quantitative assessment of steroid amount in the tissue after epidural steroid injection: a new rabbit model

Korean Journal of Pain 2019년 32권 4호 p.264 ~ 270
 ( Cho Jung-Heum ) - Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Department of Radiology

 ( Lee Joon-Woo ) - Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Department of Radiology
 ( Lee Eu-Gene ) - Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Department of Radiology
 ( Kang Yu-Suhn ) - Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Department of Radiology
 ( Cho Ha-Ra ) - Dankook University College of Pharmacy
 ( Kim Dong-Yoon ) - Dankook University College of Pharmacy
 ( Ho Myoung-Jin ) - Dankook University College of Pharmacy
 ( Kang Myung-Joo ) - Dankook University College of Pharmacy
 ( Choi Yong-Seok ) - Dankook University College of Pharmacy


Background: To develop a rabbit epidural steroid injection (ESI) model for analyzing steroid retention in the tissue, and to assess the difference in steroid retention in the model according to the location and time elapsed after ESI.

Methods: Fluoroscopy-guided ESI was performed using the interlaminar approach between the lowest two lumbar segments in 13 female New Zealand white rabbits. Four rabbits were allocated to each of three different groups according to the time of sacrifice: 3, 7, and 15 days post-ESI; the remaining rabbit was sacrificed immediately post-ESI to obtain baseline data. After sacrifice, two segments were harvested: the lowest two lumbar vertebrae and another two lumbar vertebrae immediately above these. The residual steroid amount (RSA) and residual steroid concentration (RSC) in the collected spinal columns were analyzed. A linear mixed model was used to compare RSAs and RSCs between the injected and adjacent segments, and among the number of days until sacrifice; P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Both RSA and RSC of the injected segment were significantly higher than those of the adjacent segment (P < 0.001, both). The RSA and RSC significantly decreased over time (P = 0.009 and P = 0.016, respectively).

Conclusions: The developed rabbit ESI model verified that significantly more steroid was retained at the injected segment than at the adjacent segment and the residual steroid decreased over time. This model could be useful not only for comparing current steroid medications, but also for developing new, better steroid formulations.


Fluoroscopy; Injections; Epidural; Lumbar Vertebrae; Models; Animal; Pain; Rabbits; Spine; Steroids
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