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Pathogenic Mechanisms of a Stroke-like attack Elicited by Epidural Steroid Injection Therapy

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 3 ]


Zhen He*   Pages 312 - 318 ( 7 )


Background: The pathogenic mechanisms involved in a disastrous scenario, following epidural steroid injections (ESI), remain unclarified. Intra-arterial injection of steroids with needlepenetrating vascular injury would be the culprit, as particulate medicine elicits a brain or spinal cord stroke-like attack.

Methods: On the other hand, the limited experimental approaches simulating an accidental steroid intra-arterial injection for ESI conflicted in their results: hemorrhage vs. ischemia.

Results: This article dissects the potential pathogenic mechanisms at a neurovascular unit. Noticeably, a schematic representation provides an explanation of how emboli formed by particulate steroids elicit either hemorrhagic, or ischemic lesion.

Conclusion: In addition, the development of a rat model with intravertebral artery steroid injection is a proposal to address the unmet need in evaluating steroids and vascular injury in ESI.


Epidural steroid injections, stroke, living neurovascular unit, pathogenic mechanism, particulate steroids, spinal cord.


Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration, Jefferson, AR 72079

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