It has been suggested that pain control during intracavitary brachytherapy for cervical cancer is insufficient in most hospitals in Japan. Our hospital began using caudal epidural anesthesia during high-dose-rate (HDR) intracavitary brachytherapy in 2011. The purpose of the present study was to retrospectively investigate the effects of caudal epidural anesthesia during HDR intracavitary brachytherapy for cervical cancer patients. Caudal epidural anesthesia for 34 cervical cancer patients was performed during HDR intracavitary brachytherapy between October 2011 and August 2013. We used the patients' self-reported Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) score at the first session of HDR intracavitary brachytherapy as a subjective evaluation of pain. We compared NRS scores of the patients with anesthesia with those of 30 patients who underwent HDR intracavitary brachytherapy without sacral epidural anesthesia at our hospital between May 2010 and August 2011. Caudal epidural anesthesia succeeded in 33 patients (97%), and the NRS score was recorded in 30 patients. The mean NRS score of the anesthesia group was 5.17 ± 2.97, significantly lower than that of the control group's 6.80 ± 2.59 (P = 0.035). The caudal epidural block resulted in no side-effects. Caudal epidural anesthesia is an effective and safe anesthesia option during HDR intracavitary brachytherapy for cervical cancer.
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