, 17:307
Date: 18 Dec 2012

Psychological Screening/Phenotyping as Predictors for Spinal Cord Stimulation

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Abstract

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is becoming a widely used treatment for a number of pain conditions and is frequently considered as a pain management option when conservative or less invasive techniques have proven to be ineffective. Potential indications for SCS include complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), postherpetic neuralgia, traumatic nerve injury, failed back surgery syndrome, refractory angina pectoris, peripheral vascular disease, neuropathic pain, and visceral pain (Guttman et al. Pain Pract. 9:308–11, 2009). While research on SCS is in its infancy, it is clear that substantial variation exists in the degree of benefit obtained from SCS, and the procedure does not come without risks; thus focused patient selection is becoming very important. Psychological characteristics play an important role in shaping individual differences in the pain experience and may influence responses to SCS, as well as a variety of other pain treatments (Doleys Neurosurg Focus 21:E1, 2006). In addition to psychological assessment, quantitative sensory testing (QST) procedures offer another valuable resource in forecasting who may benefit most from SCS and may also shed light on mechanisms underlying the individual characteristics promoting the effectiveness of such procedures (Eisenberg et al. Pain Pract. 6:161–165, 2006). Here, we present a brief overview of recent studies examining these factors in their relationship with SCS outcomes.

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Anesthetic Techniques in Pain Management