Pulse-dose radiofrequency treatment in pain management—initial experience
Radiofrequency procedures have been used for treating various chronic pain conditions for decades. These minimally invasive percutaneous treatments employ an alternating electrical current with oscillating radiofrequency wavelengths to eliminate or alter pain signals from the targeted site. The aim of the continuous radiofrequency procedure is to increase the temperature sufficiently to create an irreversible thermal lesion on nerve fibres and thus permanently interrupt pain signals. The pulsed radiofrequency procedure utilises short pulses of radiofrequency current with intervals of longer pauses to avert a temperature increase to the level of permanent tissue damage. The goal of these pulses is to alter the processing of pain signals, but to avoid relevant structural damage to nerve fibres, as seen in the continuous radiofrequency procedure. The pulse-dose radiofrequency procedure is a technical improvement of the pulsed radiofrequency technique in which the delivery mode of the current is adapted. During the pulse-dose radiofrequency procedure thermal damage is avoided. In addition, the amplitude and width of the consecutive pulses are kept the same. The method ensures that each delivered pulse keeps the same characteristics and therefore the dose is similar between patients. The current review outlines the pulse-dose radiofrequency procedure and presents our institution’s chronic pain management studies.
KeywordsMusculoskeletal pain management Radiofrequency Pulsed radiofrequency Pulse-dose radiofrequency
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organisation or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licencing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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