Spinal Cord Stimulation Benefit Ongoing in Diabetic Neuropathy

By David Douglas

July 07, 2015

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Most patients treated with spinal cord stimulation (SCS) because of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy maintain effective pain relief in the long term, according to Dutch researchers.

As Dr. Maarten van Beek told Reuters Health by email, "Spinal cord stimulation serves as a successful last resort treatment modality for the duration of at least two years in 65% of diabetic patients with painful neuropathy."

In particular, in a June 26 online paper in Diabetes Care, Dr. van Beek, of Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and colleagues noted that although two randomized clinical trials have shown effective pain relief with SCS, follow-up was for just six months.

To extend these findings, the researchers conducted a 24-month follow-up of 17 patients who had taken part in an earlier randomized trial, had shown positive results and gone on to permanent SCS implantation. One patient withdrew due to an infection and another did not complete study questionnaires.

In addition, a new pulse generator was implanted in two patients, and four patients had a revision of the stimulation lead.

"In our study," Dr van Beek added, "we defined treatment success as a 50% reduction of pain during daytime or nighttime or a significant improvement of the patient's global impression of change."

At 24 months, eight patients (47%) reported a 50% pain reduction during the day and six patients (35%) reported a 50% pain reduction during the night. Clinically significant improvements on the patient global impression of change scale for pain and sleep were reported by nine (53%) patients.

Although treatment success at 24-month follow-up of 65% was lower than that seen at six months (76%) this difference was not significant. Thus the researchers concluded that the approach shows a sustained effect on pain relief after 24 months.

Medtronic supported this research. The authors reported no potential conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1ChWOGc

Diabetes Care 2015.


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