Published online Apr 18, 2014. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v5.i2.134
Revised: December 17, 2013
Accepted: March 3, 2014
Published online: April 18, 2014
Core tip: The radicular symptoms associated with degenerative disease of the lumbar spine are reported to be attributable to a combination of mechanical nerve root compression and resultant circulatory disturbance. Disturbance of blood flow in the cauda equina and nerve roots is reported to play an important role in the mechanism of intermittent claudication in patients with lumbar canal stenosis. Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) is a potent vasodilator as well as an inhibitor of platelet aggregation and has therefore attracted interest as a therapeutic drug for lumbar canal stenosis with intermittent claudication. However, investigations in the clinical setting have shown that lipo-PGE1 is effective in some patients but not in others, although the reason for this is unclear.