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Effectiveness and safety of epidural corticosteroid injections for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy: a systematic review with meta- analysis.

Grant number: 23/07087-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2023
Effective date (End): November 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Medical Clinics
Principal Investigator:Crystian Bitencourt Soares de Oliveira
Grantee:Victor Hugo Gonçalves Carneiro
Host Institution: Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação. Universidade do Oeste Paulista (UNOESTE). Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil


Background: Cervical radiculopathy is a medical condition characterized by the compression of cervical nerve roots. This condition is mainly caused by herniated discs and cervical spondylosis. The main symptoms include intense pain in the neck, chest, shoulder, and arm, paresthesic sensory symptoms, and rarely, motor control reduction. The prevalence of global neck pain is over 30% annually, and more than half of the world's population may experience it at some point in their lives. Epidural corticosteroid injection is a commonly used treatment option, but inconclusive evidence suggests that its positive results are modest and/or short-lived.Objectives: To investigate the efficacy and safety of epidural corticosteroid injections for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy.Methods: This systematic review with meta-analysis will be prospectively registered in the international database of systematic review protocols (PROSPERO) and will comply with the recommendations of PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses). Searches will be conducted in the following electronic databases from inception to the day of the search: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial, MEDLINE, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). The search strategy will follow a combination of terms related to corticosteroid injection, randomized clinical trial, and cervical radiculopathy. In the text selection and data extraction, two independent reviewers will evaluate full-text articles, and a third will be available to resolve any disagreement for consensus. Meta-analyseswill be calculated using random effect models to obtain, along with 95% confidence intervals, the mean difference or standardized mean difference for continuous outcomes and relative risk for dichotomous outcomes.

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