Blockade of the sinuvertebral nerve for the diagnosis of lumbar diskogenic pain: an exploratory study.

Research paper by Juerg J Schliessbach, Andreas A Siegenthaler, Paul P Heini, Nikolai N Bogduk, Michele M Curatolo

Indexed on: 05 Jun '10Published on: 05 Jun '10Published in: Anesthesia and analgesia


In this exploratory study we evaluated sensitivity and target specificity of sinuvertebral nerve block (SVNB) for the diagnosis of lumbar diskogenic pain. Diskography has been the diagnostic gold standard. Fifteen patients with positive diskography underwent SVNB via interlaminar approach to the posterior aspect of the disk. Success was defined as > or = 80% pain reduction or excellent relief of physical restrictions after the block. The sensitivity was 73.3% (95% CI: 50.9%-95.7%). The target specificity was 40% (15.2%-64.8%). The results indicate that SVNB cannot yet replace diskography but encourage future studies to improve its target specificity.