Patient-controlled epidural analgesia for postherpetic neuralgia in an HIV-infected patient as a therapeutic ambulatory modality

Yu Chuan Tsai

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8 Citations (Scopus)


A 43-year-old HIV-positive male was referred to our pain clinic one month after his fourth attack of herpes zoster infection. He complained of intermittent intolerable sharp and lancinating pain accompanied by numbness over the inner aspect of the left upper extremity, left anterior chest wall and the back. Physical examination revealed allodynia over the left T1 and T2 dermatomes without any obvious skin lesion. The pain was treated with epidural block made possible by a retention epidural catheter placed via the T2-3 interspace. After the administration of 8 ml of 1 % lidocaine in divided doses, the pain was completely relieved for 4 h without significant change of blood pressure or heart rate. A pump (Baxter API) for patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) filled with 0.08% bupivacaine was connected to the epidural catheter on the next day and programmed at a basal rate of 2 ml/h, PCA dose 2 ml, lockout interval 15 min, with an one-hour dose limit of 8 ml. He was instructed to report his condition by telephone every weekday. The pump was refilled with drug and the wound of catheter entry was checked and managed every 3 or 4 days. The epidural catheter was replaced every week. During treatment, the pain intensity was controlled in the range from 10 to 0 - 2 on the visual analogue scale. He was very satisfied with the treatment and reported only slight hypoesthesia over the left upper extremity in the early treatment period. Epidural PCA was discontinued after 28 days. He did not complain of pain thereafter but reported a slight numb sensation still over the lesion site for a period of time. In conclusion, postherpetic neuralgia in an HIV-infectcd man was successfully treated with ambulatory therapeutic modality of epidural PCA for 28 days.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-239
Number of pages5
JournalActa anaesthesiologica Sinica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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