The Role of Spectral Tissue Sensing During Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Injection

Andrea J. R. Balthasar*, Gerald W. Lucassen, Micha Sommer, Marjolein van der Voort, Geert Gijsbers, Carsten W. K. P. Arnoldussen, Alfons Kessel, Stefan Roggeveen, Arno Lataster, Maarten van Kleef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Spectral tissue sensing (STS) exploits the scattering and absorption of light by tissue. The main objective of the present study was to determine whether STS can discriminate between correct and incorrect placement of the needle tip during lumbar transforaminal epidural injection. This was a single-blind prospective observational study in 30 patients with lumbar radicular pain scheduled for lumbar transforaminal epidural injection. Spectral tissue sensing data from the needle tip were acquired along the needle trajectory at 4 predefined measurement points and compared with ultrasound, fluoroscopy, and digital subtraction angiography images. Spectral tissue sensing data contained the full spectra. The lipid and hemoglobin content at the different measurement points was also calculated, and partial least-squares discriminant analysis was used to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of STS. Spectral tissue sensing identified correct needle placement with a sensitivity of 57% and a specificity of 82%, and intraforaminal versus extraforaminal locations were identified with a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 71%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-526
JournalRegional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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