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Percutaneous cervical cordotomy for chest wall pain from mesothelioma in the setting of neuromyelitis
  1. Fintan McMorrow1 and
  2. Margaret Owen2
  1. 1Anaesthesia, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Interventional Cancer Pain Service, Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fintan McMorrow, Anaesthesia, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus, Glasgow, UK; fintan.mcmorrow{at}


A 75-year-old man presented to our Interventional Cancer Pain service for consideration of a percutaneous cervical cordotomy (PCC) to control severe chest wall pain secondary to malignant mesothelioma. His medical history included a neuroinflammatory disorder, neuromyelitis optica, for which he had previously had a prolonged hospital admission, with ongoing neurological deficit. Little information is available regarding the safety of PCC in a patient with this condition, specifically the risk of neurological relapse, and we were initially wary about going ahead. After discussion with the patient’s neurology team and other UK experts and with the patient’s informed consent, we proceeded to PCC with additional steroid cover. No adverse neurological symptoms were encountered perioperatively or postoperatively and the patient had an excellent analgesic result. As this combination of circumstances has not to our knowledge been documented, we wished to present this case and discuss the factors affecting our decision and management.

  • pain
  • clinical decisions
  • other cancer

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.