Long-term effect of motor cortex stimulation in patients suffering from chronic neuropathic pain: An observational study

Dylan J.H.A. Henssen, Erkan Kurt, Anne Marie Van Cappellen Van Walsum, Inge Arnts, Jonne Doorduin, Tamas Kozicz, Robert Van Dongen, Ronald H.M.A. Bartels

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Background Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) was introduced as a last-resort treatment for chronic neuropathic pain. Over the years, MCS has been used for the treatment of various pain syndromes but long-term follow-up is unknown. Methods This paper reports the results of MCS from 2005 until 2012 with a 3-year follow-up. Patients who suffered from chronic neuropathic pain treated with MCS were studied. The analgesic effect was determined as successful by decrease in pain-intensity on the visual analog scale (VAS) of at least 40%. The modifications in drug regimens were monitored with use of the medication quantification scale (MQS). Stimulation parameters and complications were also noted. Interference of pain with quality of life (QoL), the Quality of Life Index (QLI), was determined with use of a specific subset of questions from the MPQ-DLV score. Results Eighteen patients were included. Mean pre-operative VAS changed from 89.4 ± 11.2 to 53.1 ± 25.0 after three years of follow-up (P < 0.0001). A successful outcome was achieved in seven responders (38.9%). All patients in the responder group suffered from pain caused by a central lesion. With regard to all the patients with central pain lesions (n = 10) and peripheral lesions (n = 8), a significant difference in response to MCS was noticed (P = 0.002). MQS scores and QLI-scores diminished during the follow-up period (P = 0.210 and P = 0.007, respectively). Conclusion MCS seems a promising therapeutic option for patients with refractory pain syndromes of central origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0191774
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

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