Intravascular uptake during fluoroscopically guided cervical interlaminar steroid injection at C6-7: a case report

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation; Department of Cell Biology; Senior Scholars Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; *Cervical Vertebrae; Contrast Media; Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials; Female; Fluoroscopy; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Injections, Epidural; Male; Middle Aged; Risk Assessment; Sampling Studies; Sensitivity and Specificity; Spinal Stenosis; Steroids


Orthopedics | Rehabilitation and Therapy


We report 4 cases of intravascular venous uptake of contrast material during fluoroscopically guided cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injection at the C6-7 level. The blood vessel probably involved is the posterior internal vertebral venous plexus, which drains the interlaminar space and returns blood to the right atrium through the paired vertebral veins and right and left brachiocephalic veins. In all 4 cases, intravascular uptake occurred despite negative aspiration of blood before the contrast material was injected. All patients were successfully injected at the C7-T1 level. We recommend the use of fluoroscopic guidance and the injection of contrast to identify potential placement of the injection needle within the vascular space. Potential complications of intravascular venous uptake of contrast material and steroid solution are discussed.

DOI of Published Version



Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Mar;89(3):553-8. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation


Jeremy Colllins participated in this study as a medical student as part of the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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Link to Article in PubMed

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