Spinal Cord Stimulation May Soothe Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

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Spinal Cord Stimulation May Soothe Painful Diabetic Neuropathy
Spinal Cord Stimulation May Soothe Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

(HealthDay News) — Spinal cord stimulation appeared to be a successful, albeit somewhat risky, treatment for patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Rachel Slangen, from the Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and colleagues randomly assigned 36 patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy to spinal cord stimulation in combination with best medical treatment (n=22 patients) and best medical treatment only (n=14). 

If trial stimulation was successful, the spinal cord stimulation system was implanted. Definitions of treatment success include at least 50% pain relief during daytime or nighttime or "(very) much improved" for pain and sleep on the patient global impression of change scale at 6 months.

Fifty-nine percent of the spinal cord stimulation and 7% of the best medical treatment only groups met the definition of treatment success (P<.01). Daytime and nighttime pain relief were reported by 41% and 36% in the spinal cord stimulation group, respectively, and by 0% and 7% in the best medical treatment only group, respectively (P<.05). 

In 55% and 36% of the spinal cord stimulation group, pain and sleep were "(very) much improved," while no changes were seen in the best medical treatment only group (P<.001 and P<.05, respectively). 

One patient from the spinal cord stimulation group died as a result of a subdural hematoma.

"Treatment success was shown in 59% of patients with [painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy] who were treated with [spinal cord stimulation] over a 6-month period, although this treatment is not without risks," the researchers wrote

The study was funded by Medtronic.

Reference

  1. Slangen R et al. Diabetes Care. 2014;doi:10.2337/dc14-0684.
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