Systemic effects of epidural steroid injections

Martina Bellini, Massimo Barbieri
DOI: 10.5603/AIT.2013.0021
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2013;45(2):93-98.

open access

Vol 45, No 2 (2013 Apr-Jun)
Review articles
Published online: 2013-07-05
Submitted: 2013-07-05
Accepted: 2013-07-05


The aim of this study was to review all the published articles in the English language literature regarding the systemic effects of epidural corticosteroid injections (ESIs) in humans. ESIs are among the procedures that are most commonly used to manage chronic back pain. However, there has been no conclusive review on the systemic effects of this popular procedure. Reports were searched for in MEDLINE and EMBASE using the terms ‘epidural’ and ‘steroids’, ‘corticosteroids’ or ‘glucocorticosteroids’ up to and including the year 2012. Reports were also located by examining the references in the identified articles. We concluded that even if epidural steroid injection is one of the most widely- -used techniques to treat radicular pain, it must be administered cautiously, with careful monitoring for systemic side effects. At the very least, a standardised protocol is necessary.


chronic pain, treatment, side effects, epidural injections, steroids, systemic effects

About this article

Systemic effects of epidural steroid injections


Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy


Vol 45, No 2 (2013 Apr-Jun)



Published online




Bibliographic record

Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2013;45(2):93-98.


chronic pain
side effects
epidural injections
systemic effects


Martina Bellini
Massimo Barbieri

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