MR-guided perineural injection of the ganglion impar: technical considerations and feasibility

TitleMR-guided perineural injection of the ganglion impar: technical considerations and feasibility
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMarker, D. R., U-Thainual P., Ungi T., Flammang A. J., Fichtinger G., Iordachita I., Carrino J. A., & Fritz J.
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Date Published01/2016


Perineural ganglion impar injections are used in the management of pelvic pain syndromes; however, there is no consensus regarding the optimal image guidance. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides high soft tissue contrast and the potential to directly visualize and target the ganglion. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of MR-guided percutaneous perineural ganglion impar injections.

Materials and methods

Six MR-guided ganglion impar injections were performed in six human cadavers. Procedures were performed with a clinical 1.5-Tesla MRI system through a far lateral transgluteus approach. Ganglion impar visibility, distance from the sacrococcygeal joint, number of intermittent MRI control steps required to place the needle, target error between the intended and final needle tip location, inadvertent punctures of non-targeted vulnerable structures, injectant distribution, and procedure time were determined.


The ganglion impar was seen on MRI in 4/6 (66 %) of cases and located 0.8 mm cephalad to 16.3 mm caudad (average 1.2 mm caudad) to the midpoint of the sacrococcygeal joint. Needle placement required an average of three MRI control steps (range, 2–6). The average target error was 2.2 ± 2.1 mm. In 6/6 cases (100 %), there was appropriate periganglionic distribution and filling of the presacrococcygeal space. No punctures of non-targeted structures occurred. The median procedure time was 20 min (range, 12–29 min).


Interventional MRI can visualize and directly target the ganglion impar for accurate needle placement and successful periganglionic injection with the additional benefit of no ionizing radiation exposure to patient and staff. Our results support clinical evaluation.

PerkWeb Citation KeyMarker2016