Spinal Cord Stimulation for Intractable Visceral Pain Due to Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction
BACKGROUND Spinal cord stimulation and dorsal column stimulation have been used successfully in the management of visceral pain for many years. A novel technique of ventral column stimulation has been used in our institute with good outcomes since 2007. We describe a retrospective series of 26 patients with visceral neuropathic pain who were treated with neuromodulation. METHODS Patients with either dermatomal hyperalgesia or sympathetically mediated neuropathic abdominal pain who had been treated with spinal cord stimulation were assessed. An independent observer conducted a face-to-face interview with each patient to collect data including demography, electrode placement, electrode mapping, and outcomes. RESULTS There was significant reduction in visual analog pain scores from a median 9 at baseline to 4 at 26 months (p ≤ 0.05). Reduction in opioid consumption was very significant from a baseline median oral morphine equivalent of 160 mg to 26 mg (p < 0.001). In addition, quality of life, activities of daily living, and patient global impression of change improved. CONCLUSION There is a need to further investigate the use of ventral stimulation for visceral pain syndromes. This would need multicenter trials to collect adequate numbers of patients to allow hypothesis testing to underpin recommendations for future evidence-based therapies.