Bleeding and Neurologic Complications in 58,000 Interventional Pain Procedures

Nafisseh S. Warner, W. Michael Hooten, Matthew A. Warner, Tim J. Lamer, Jason S. Eldrige, Halena M. Gazelka, Daryl J. Kor, Bryan C. Hoelzer, William D. Mauck, Susan M. Moeschler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives Interventional pain procedures are commonly performed on patients receiving antiplatelet therapy. However, there is limited evidence to support or refute the safety of this practice. The goal of this investigation was to assess the rate of bleeding complications in a large cohort of patients undergoing intermediate-and low-risk pain procedures, with a specific focus on antiplatelet and anticoagulant medication use and baseline coagulation abnormalities. Methods This is a retrospective cohort study of adult patients undergoing low-and intermediate-risk pain procedures from 2005 through 2014 by the division of pain medicine at a single academic tertiary care center. Baseline characteristics, antiplatelet and anticoagulant medication use, coagulation parameters, and procedural details were extracted from the electronic medical record. The primary outcome was a bleeding-related complication requiring emergency medicine, neurology, or neurosurgical evaluation within 31 days. The secondary outcome was the presence or absence of a periprocedural red blood cell transfusion occurring within 72 hours of needle placement. Results A total of 58,066 procedures were performed on 24,590 unique patients. Preprocedural aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy was present for 17,825 procedures (30.7%). Sixteen procedures were associated with perioperative red blood cell transfusion (0.03%), with no difference based on preprocedural nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, including aspirin, or other anticoagulation use (P = 0.107). Five patients (0.009%) had a neurologic complication requiring further evaluation, of which 2 were likely related to procedural bleeding. Conclusions Bleeding complications are rare in patients undergoing low-or intermediate-risk pain procedures even in the presence of antiplatelet medications. This is consistent with recently released guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-787
Number of pages6
JournalRegional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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