Clinical Research|Articles in Press

Regional Coverage Differences With Single- and Multiarea Burst Spinal Cord Stimulation for Treatment of Chronic Pain



      Burst spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has shown superior relief from overall pain and a reduction in back and leg pain compared with traditional tonic neurostimulation therapies. However, nearly 80% of patients have two or more noncontiguous pain areas. This can provide challenges in effectively programming stimulation and long-term therapy efficacy. Multiarea DeRidder Burst programming is a new option to treat multisite pain by delivering stimulation to multiple areas along the spinal cord. This study aimed to identify the effect of intraburst frequency, multiarea stimulation, and location of DeRidder Burst on the evoked electromyography (EMG) responses.

      Materials and Methods

      Neuromonitoring was performed during permanent implant of SCS leads in nine patients diagnosed with chronic intractable back and/or leg pain. Each patient underwent the surgical placement of a Penta Paddle electrode via laminectomy at the T8–T10 spinal levels. Subdermal electrode needles were placed into lower extremity muscle groups, in addition to the rectus abdominis muscles, for EMG recording. Evoked responses were compared across multiple trials of burst stimulation in which the number of independent burst areas were varied.


      The thresholds for EMG recruitment with DeRidder Burst differed across patients owing to anatomic and physiological variations. The average threshold to evoke a bilateral EMG response using single site DeRidder Burst was 3.2 mA. Multisite DeRidder Burst stimulation on up to four stimulation programs evoked a bilateral EMG response at a threshold of 2.5 mA (∼23% lower threshold). DeRidder Burst stimulation across four electrode pairs resulted in more proximal recruitment (vastus medialis and tibialis anterior) than did stimulation across two pairs. It also resulted in more focal coverage of areas across multiple sites.


      Across all patients, multisite DeRidder Burst provided broader myotomal coverage than did traditional DeRidder Burst. Multisite DeRidder Burst stimulation provided focal recruitment and differential control of noncontiguous distal myotomes. Energy requirements were also lower when multisite DeRidder Burst was used.


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