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Background and Aims Nerve blocks are commonly performed to prevent the chronicity of postherpetic neuralgia in the acute phase. This study investigated whether distal approaches of intercostal nerve block are effective for zoster-associated pain in the thoracic spinal cord region.
Methods This was a descriptive study conducted between January 2013 and January 2023, targeting patients who visited our department within three months of onset and received nerve blocks. Patients who underwent pulsed radiofrequency treatment were excluded. The Conventional (C) group received conventional treatments such as paravertebral, epidural, and intercostal nerve block, while the Peripheral (P) group received nerve blocks at distal sites of intercostal nerves, such as the serratus anterior plane block, rectus sheath block, and transversus abdominis plane block. The duration of nerve block required by patients was examined.
Results There were 18 patients in the C group and 19 in the P group. There were no significant differences in age, affected spinal cord site, presence of sleep disorders, presence of risk factors for refractory cases, duration to initial visit, or EQ-5D score. The median duration of nerve block requirement was 35 (7-97) days in the C group and 18 (7-38) days in the P group.
Conclusions The distal approaches of intercostal nerve block may also be a treatment option in patients with acute zoster-associated pain.
Attachment (Form2) Approved by IRB #2022-024.pdf
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