Safety of fluoroscopically guided pain procedures in patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy: a retrospective analysis

Elizabeth Joyce, Rishi Bakshi, Michael Fediw, Sean R. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the incidence of bleeding and infectious adverse events (AEs) in patients undergoing interventional, fluoroscopic-guided axial spine procedures to modulate pain. Methods: Retrospective data of patients undergoing fluoroscopically guided axial spine injections at a single tertiary care medical center Cancer Rehabilitation program in the USA were reviewed. AEs, type of chemotherapy, type of tumor, age, platelet and absolute neutrophil counts (ANC) prior to the procedure, and relevant past medical history were collected. Descriptive statistical analyses were performed. Results: Sixty-three separately identifiable procedures across 28 patients met inclusion criteria. Zero AEs were recorded. Platelet and ANC were generally above the recommended safety threshold, but granulocyte colony stimulating factor was administered prior to four procedures to boost ANC levels. Multiple myeloma was the most common cancer diagnosis (64.3%). Various solid tumors made up the remaining cancer diagnoses. Epidural steroid injections (n=23) and medial branch blocks (n=23) were the most common procedures performed and lumbar (n=35) was the most common location of procedures. Three patients died within 30 days of the procedures but their deaths were not directly attributable to the injections. Conclusion: This provides preliminary data to support the safety of injections in patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy. Larger, multicenter studies are required before firm conclusions can be drawn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5173-5178
Number of pages6
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Cancer pain
  • Cancer rehabilitation
  • Epidural steroid injection
  • Injection safety
  • Spine injections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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