Deep brain stimulation for neuropathic pain.
Owen SLF., Green AL., Nandi D., Bittar RG., Wang S., Aziz TZ.
Objectives. To determine whether deep brain stimulation is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain of varied etiology. Material and Methods. Thirty-four patients with intractable neuropathic pain were prospectively studied using visual analog scores, McGill Pain Questionnaire, and Quality of Life Questionnaires (EUROQOL EQ-5D VAS, and SF-36 v-2). Patients had either deep brain stimulation of either the periventricular gray or ventroposterolateral nucleus of the thalamus, or both. Results. Seventy-six percent of patients underwent permanent implantation. Overall reduction of pain intensity was 54%. The burning component of pain improved by 77%. Health-related quality of life improved by 38%. Conclusions. Deep brain stimulation is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain. The factors that influence outcome, including etiology and site of stimulation, are discussed.