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BMC Research Notes

, 4:552

First Online: 21 December 2011Received: 17 August 2011Accepted: 21 December 2011DOI: 10.1186-1756-0500-4-552

Cite this article as: Zufferey, P., Bulliard, C., Gremion, G. et al. BMC Res Notes 2011 4: 552. doi:10.1186-1756-0500-4-552


BackgroundSeveral studies have shown that in diabetic patients, the glycemic profile was disturbed after intra-articular injection of corticosteroids. Little is known about the impact of epidural injection in such patients. The goal of this study was double, at first comparing the glycaemic profile in diabetic patients after a unique injection of 80 mg of acetate methylprednisolone either intra-articular or epidural and secondly to compare the amount of systemic diffusion of the drug after both procedures.

MethodsSeventeen patients were included. Glycemic changes were compared in 9 diabetic patients following intra-articular 4 patients and epidural injections 5 patients.

Epidural injections were performed using the sacral route under fluoroscopic control in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis. Diabetes control had to stable for more than 10 days and the renal function to be preserved. Blood glucose was monitored using a validated continuous measuring device GMS, Medtronic the day before and for two days following the injection. Results were expressed in the form of daily glycemic profiles and as by mean, peak and minimal values +- SD. The urinary excretion of methylprednisolone after the 2 routes of injection was analyzed in 8 patients 4 in each group. Urine samples were cropped one hour before the injections, then 4 times during the first day and 3 times a week for 2 weeks. The measurements included the free and conjugated fraction

ResultsThe glycaemic profile remains unchanged with no significant changes in the group of the 5 diabetic patients receiving epidural injections.

On the other end, the average peak and and mean values were enhanced up to 3 mmol-l above baseline two days after the infiltration in the groups of the 4 diabetic patients infiltrated intra-articular. The mean urinary excretion of the steroid was about ten times higher in the intra-articular versus epidural group: 7000 ng-ml versus 700 ng-ml. Looking at each individual there were marked differences especially after intra-articular injections.

ConclusionThis is the first study to show that a single epidural steroid injection of 80 mg depot methylprednisolone had no effect on the glycemic control in diabetic patients. The absence of glycemic control changes correlated well with the very low urinary excretion of the drug after epidural injection.

Trial registrationNCT01420497

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-0500-4-552 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Pascal Zufferey - Charly Bulliard - Gerald Gremion - Marial Saugy - Alexander So


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