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      Predictors of the analgesic efficacy of pulsed radiofrequency treatment in patients with chronic lumbosacral radicular pain: a retrospective observational study

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          Pulsed radiofrequency (RF) targeting the adjacent dorsal root ganglion (DRG) is one treatment option for lumbosacral radicular pain. However, the analgesic efficacy of this procedure is not always guaranteed. The aim of this retrospective study was to identify the predictors of the analgesic efficacy of pulsed DRG RF treatment in patients with chronic lumbosacral radicular pain.


          Patients who underwent pulsed DRG RF treatment from 2006 to 2017 at our clinic were enrolled. Positive response was defined as a ≥50% reduction in pain score from baseline at day 30. Patient demographics, pain-related factors, and clinical factors were evaluated using logistic regression analysis to identify the predictors of a positive response to the treatment.


          A total of 60 patients satisfied the study protocol requirements. Twenty-eight patients (46.7%) had a positive outcome. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the absence of comorbid musculoskeletal pain (OR=0.518, 95% CI=0.029–0.858, P=0.033) and positive response to previous epidural steroid injection (OR=3.269, 95% CI=1.046–10.215, P=0.042) were independent predictors of the analgesic efficacy of pulsed DRG RF treatment.


          Comorbid musculoskeletal pain and previous epidural injection response appear to affect the outcome of pulsed DRG RF treatment in patients with chronic lumbosacral radicular pain.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Pulsed radiofrequency treatment in interventional pain management: mechanisms and potential indications—a review

          Background The objective of this review is to evaluate the efficacy of Pulsed Radiofrequency (PRF) treatment in chronic pain management in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and well-designed observational studies. The physics, mechanisms of action, and biological effects are discussed to provide the scientific basis for this promising modality. Methods We systematically searched for clinical studies on PRF. We searched the MEDLINE (PubMed) and EMBASE database, using the free text terms: pulsed radiofrequency, radio frequency, radiation, isothermal radiofrequency, and combination of these. We classified the information in two tables, one focusing only on RCTs, and another, containing prospective studies. Date of last electronic search was 30 May 2010. The methodological quality of the presented reports was scored using the original criteria proposed by Jadad et al. Findings We found six RCTs that evaluated the efficacy of PRF, one against corticosteroid injection, one against sham intervention, and the rest against conventional RF thermocoagulation. Two trials were conducted in patients with lower back pain due to lumbar zygapophyseal joint pain, one in cervical radicular pain, one in lumbosacral radicular pain, one in trigeminal neuralgia, and another in chronic shoulder pain. Conclusion From the available evidence, the use of PRF to the dorsal root ganglion in cervical radicular pain is compelling. With regards to its lumbosacral counterpart, the use of PRF cannot be similarly advocated in view of the methodological quality of the included study. PRF application to the supracapular nerve was found to be as efficacious as intra-articular corticosteroid in patients with chronic shoulder pain. The use of PRF in lumbar facet arthropathy and trigeminal neuralgia was found to be less effective than conventional RF thermocoagulation techniques.
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            11. Lumbosacral radicular pain.

            Lumbosacral radicular pain is characterized by a radiating pain in one or more lumbar or sacral dermatomes; it may or may not be accompanied by other radicular irritation symptoms and/or symptoms of decreased function. The annual prevalence in the general population, described as low back pain with leg pain traveling below the knee, varied from 9.9% to 25%, which means that it is presumably the most commonly occurring form of neuropathic pain. The patient's history may give a suggestion of lumbosacral radicular pain. The best known clinical investigation is the straight-leg raising test. Final diagnosis is made based on a combination of clinical examination and potentially additional tests. Medical imaging studies are indicated to exclude possible serious pathologies and to confirm the affected level in patients suffering lumbosacral radicular pain for longer than 3 months. Magnetic resonance imaging is preferred. Selective diagnostic blocks help confirming the affected level. There is controversy concerning the effectiveness of conservative management (physical therapy, exercise) and pharmacological treatment. When conservative treatment fails, in subacute lumbosacral radicular pain under the level L3 as the result of a contained herniation, transforaminal corticosteroid administration is recommended (2 B+). In chronic lumbosacral radicular pain, (pulsed) radiofrequency treatment adjacent to the spinal ganglion (DRG) can be considered (2 C+). For refractory lumbosacral radicular pain, adhesiolysis and epiduroscopy can be considered (2 B+/-), preferentially study-related. In patients with a therapy-resistant radicular pain in the context of a Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, spinal cord stimulation is recommended (2 A+). This treatment should be performed in specialized centers.
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              Pulsed radiofrequency in lumbar radicular pain: clinical effects in various etiological groups.

              The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) applied to the lumbar dorsal root ganglion (DRG). A retrospective analysis of 54 consecutive patients who underwent 75 PRF procedures was performed. The patients were divided into three groups according to the etiology of the lesion (herniated disc [HD], spinal stenosis [SS], and failed back surgery syndrome [FBSS]). The analgesic efficacy of the technique was assessed using a 10-point Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) at baseline and, along with the Global Perceived Effect (GPE), at 30, 60, 90, and 180 days. The reduction in medications and the number of complications associated with the technique were assessed. A decrease in the NRS score was observed in patients with HD (P < 0.05) and SS (P < 0.001), but not in those with FBSS. The GPE scores confirmed this finding. No complications were noted. We observed that PRF of the DRG was significantly more efficacious in HD and SS than in FBSS patients. The application of PRF was not effective in FBSS.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                26 June 2018
                : 11
                : 1223-1230
                Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea, TESSAR@ 123456yuhs.ac
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Shin Hyung Kim, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Korea, Tel +82 2 2228 7500, Fax +82 2 364 2951, Email TESSAR@ 123456yuhs.ac
                © 2018 Kim et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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