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This article is the author's final published version in Interventional Pain Medicine, Volume 2, Issue 3, September 2023, Article number 100277.

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Copyright © 2023 The Authors.


Background: There is a lack of substantiated evidence to support or refute the risks of ceasing vs maintaining anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet medications (ACAP) prior to cervical and thoracic interlaminar epidural steroid injections. The ACAP medication is frequently stopped pre-procedure due to concerns for potential bleeding complications, particularly epidural hematomas (EH). This article provides evidence regarding EH incidence in this population. Methods: Data for this study was collected retrospectively on all patients from September 19, 2009–Jun 16, 2017 who were scheduled for an Interlaminar Cervical and/or Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injections (IL-CTESI) and were on an ACAP medication at the time a procedure was scheduled. All possible adverse outcomes were then retrospectively analyzed via extensive data mining of the electronic medical record system with special emphasis on EHs. Results: 591 IL-CTESI were performed on patients taking ACAP medications. In total, 351 patients ceased their ACAP medication prior to the procedure and 240 maintained ACAP medication. Our findings demonstrate that there were no clinically relevant incidents of EHs in either cohort. Conclusions: This data gives critical insight into the post-procedural EH risk for patients who had continued or stopped taking their ACAP medications prior to their IL-CTESI. The results from this study suggest re-evaluating the potential post-procedural EH risks associated with continuing vs ceasing these medications.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.