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Korean Journal of Anesthesiology 2000;39(2):293-295.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4097/kjae.2000.39.2.293   
Application of Pulsed Radiofrequency to Intractable Neuropathic Pain.
Mi Sook Gang, Soung Moon Han, Young Jin Lim, Sang Chul Lee
1Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Anesthesiology, Hanil Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
For several decades, Radiofrequency lesioning has been used for intractable pain that originates from the spinal area. Heating of the tissue has been assumed to be the only mechanism that can cause this effect. There has never been the suggestion that the RF fields themselves can modify the neuro-cellular function independently of the thermal effect. Additionally, Radiofrequency machines can not be used in neuropathic pain because of their thermal effect. Recently, a modified type of Radiofrequency machine was developed, using a non-thermal pulse, and applying a relatively high voltage. Some authors have reported remarkable results using this technique recently. There are several possible mechanisms and several attempts have been tried to explain this therapeutic effect respectively, but none of them explain it fully. One possible mechanism is through an Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) that doesn't produce high temperature in the tip area. This is done in a pulsed fashion to avoid the high temperature made during the active cycle. However there is no apparent mechanism that explains this therapeutic effect clearly. The patient whom we report now was a 23 year-old male who suffered from repetitive low back pain and radiculopathy. He failed to respond to other oral and invasive conventional therapies. We experienced a successful result in the treatment of his intractable neuropathic pain using this pulsed RF machine.
Key Words: Nerve: neuropathy; Pain: backpain


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