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Interpleural Analgesia in the Treatment of Severe Thoracic Postherpetic Neuralgia
  1. Finn Reiestad, M.D.*,
  2. Lars Kvalheim, M.D.,
  3. William B. Mcilvaine, M.D., C.M., F.R.C.P.C.**,
  4. Per Haraldstad, M.D.,
  5. Michael Barnes, M.D.* and
  6. Bjorg Pettersen, C.R.N.A.
  1. *Departments of Anesthesiology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado
  2. **The Children's Hospital, Denver, Colorado
  3. Namdalen County Hospital, Namsos, Norway
  4. Pain Clinic Centre, Department of Anesthesia, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo, Norway


Effective, long-lasting pain relief was produced in 26 patients suffering from severe thoracic postherpetic neuralgia by intermittent administration of local anesthetics into the pleural space through a percutaneously placed interpleural catheter. The duration of treatment varied from seven to 21 days. During this period, 30 ml of 0.5% bupivacaine with epinephrine (5 μg/ml) were injected every 24 hours. The injections were continued for three days after the patients were pain free or had reached an analgesic plateau. All patients achieved good to excellent pain relief. During a follow-up period of five to 15 months, their level of pain has not increased from the level achieved at the end of the treatment program.

  • Anesthetic technique
  • pleural catheter
  • local anesthetic
  • bupivacaine
  • pain relief
  • thoracic postherpetic neuralgia

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