Bilateral versus unilateral percutaneous high cervical cordotomy as a surgical method of pain relief.

K. Amano*, H. Kawamura, T. Tanikawa, H. Kawabatake, H. Iseki, Y. Iwata, T. Taira

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    The present report is concerned with the results of bilateral percutaneous high cervical cordotomy (60 patients) compared with those of unilateral cordotomy (161 patients). The result of pain relief is classified into 4 grades based on Hitchcock's criteria; grade 1: complete pain relief, grade 2: almost complete pain relief with slight residual pain, grade 3: persisting pain, but tolerable, grade 4: persisting pain, untolerable. In cases of bilateral cordotomy (60 patients), 76% of the cases showed grade 1, 19% being grade 2, 3% being grade 3 and 2% being grade 4. On the contrary, the unilateral cordotomy (161 patients) showed less impressive results, particularly in grade 1, namely, grade 1 being 64%, grade 2 being 18%, grade 3 being 14% and grade 4 being 4%. Clinically acceptable results (grade 1 plus grade 2) were, therefore, obtained in bilateral cordotomy (95%) as compared with unilateral cordotomy (82%). The difference in pain relief between bilateral and unilateral procedure observed in the present investigation is contrary to that reported previously by others. The possible explanation for less impressive result in regard to grade 1 of unilateral cordotomy is that unilateral cordotomy was performed in this series to alleviate the major side of patient's pain, followed by latent pain on the other side postoperatively, which is not uncommon phenomenon in cancer pain. Whereas all of the bilateral cordotomies were done either for midline pain or bilateral pain, unilateral cordotomy gave satisfactory pain relief in some cases of midline pain. Midline pain, therefore, does not necessarily require bilateral cordotomies from a clinical point of view.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-145
    Number of pages3
    JournalActa neurochirurgica. Supplementum
    Publication statusPublished - 1991

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Clinical Neurology


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