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CT-guided injection of botulinic toxin for percutaneous therapy of piriformis muscle syndrome with preliminary MRI results about denervative process.

Piriformis muscle syndrome (PMS) is a cause of sciatica, leg or buttock pain and disability. The pain is usually increased by muscular contraction, palpation or prolonged sitting. The aim of our paper was to evaluate the feasibility of CT-guided percutaneous botulinic toxin (BTX) injection for the purpose of PMS treatment. Thirty patients suffering from PMS, suspected with clinical and electrophysiological criteria, after imaging examinations excluding other causes of sciatic pain, resulted positive at the lidocaine test and were treated by intramuscular injection of BTX type A under CT guidance. The follow-up (12 months) was performed with clinical examination in all cases and with MR 3 months after the procedure in 9 patients to evaluate the denervative process entity of the treated muscle. In 26 cases relief of symptoms was obtained after 5-7 days. In 4 patients an insufficient relief of pain justified a second percutaneous treatment which was clinically successful. No complications or side effects were recorded after BTX injection. The MR examination showed a signal intensity change of the treated muscle in 7 patients due to the denervative process of PM, whereas in the remaining 2 cases only an atrophy of the treated muscle was detected. Larger series are necessary to confirm these MRI preliminary results. The CT-guided BTX injection in the PMS is an emergent and feasible technique that obtains an excellent local therapeutic effect without risk of imprecise inoculation.

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