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Pleural Analgesia for the Treatment of Acute Severe Thoracic Herpes Zoster
  1. Finn Reiestad, M.D.*,
  2. Lars Kvalheim, M.D.** and
  3. William B. Mcilvaine, F.R.C.P.C.
  1. *Pain Clinic Centre, Department of Anaesthesia, Ulleval Sykehus, Oslo, Norway
  2. **Department of Anaesthesia, Namdalen County Hospital, Namsos, Norway
  3. Department of Anesthesiology, The Children's Hospital, 1056 E. 19th Ave., Denver, Colorado.


Effective pain relief was produced in 18 patients having acute or subacute thoracic herpes zoster by the intermittent administration of local anesthetics into the pleural space via a percutaneously placed catheter. The duration of treatment varied from 16 to 21 days. During this period, the intervals between subsequent doses of 20 ml of 0.5% bupivacaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine increased in all patients from two doses per 24 hours to one dose per 24 hours. Patients became pain-free between 16 and 21 days after the beginning of treatment. The catheters were then removed, and a follow-up period of more than one year showed no signs of postherpetic neuralgia in any of the 18 patients. No side effects were observed during the treatment period.

  • Anesthetic technique
  • pleural catheter
  • local anesthetic
  • lidocaine
  • local anesthetic
  • bupivacaine
  • pain relief
  • thoracic herpes zoster

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