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Long-term Outcomes of Pulsed Radiofrequency for Supraorbital Neuralgia: A Retrospective Multicentric Study

Pain Physician. 2022 Oct;25(7):E1121-E1128.


BACKGROUND: Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) is a percutaneous, micro-invasive, and micro-destructive neuromodulation technology. It has been reported to be useful in the treatment of supraorbital neuralgia (SN). However, the long-term effectiveness and safety of this technique in SN has not been reported yet.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the outcomes of PRF on supraorbital neuralgia (SN) in multi-centers and a long-term perspective.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series.

METHODS: Patients who underwent PRF for SN at 4 hospitals in Beijing between Jan 2007 and Jan 2021 were identified and reviewed for inclusion. Their demographic data and baseline conditions were statistically described, and their conditions of pain control were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier survival analyses. A survival curve was plotted, the cumulative proportion of pain-free at specific time points was determined, and the median pain-free time was estimated. Complications related to PRF treatment were summarized. The risk factors for initial pain control and pain-free survival were analyzed using logistic regression and Cox regression.

RESULTS: A total of 116 patients were included; 91 (78.4%) patients got initial pain control with just one attempt of PRF. The maximum length of follow-up was 127 months, with a median of 18 months. During follow-up, 29 (31.9%) patients suffered from pain recurrence, and 11 (12.1%) were lost. The cumulative pain-free survival at 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 8 years, and 10 years were estimated as 70%, 64%, 59%, 55%, 44%, 37%, and 37%, respectively. The median pain-free time was 52 months. No severe complications were observed or reported. Duration of disease could significantly influence initial pain control, while no risk factors for pain-free survival were recognized.

LIMITATIONS: A retrospective study setting without a control group.

CONCLUSION: The performance of PRF for the treatment of SN was confirmed to be favorable in a multicentric, relatively large scale, and long-term perspective.


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