Pulsed Radiofrequency as a Minimally Invasive Treatment Option in Anterior Cutaneous Nerve Entrapment Syndrome: A Retrospective Analysis of 26 Patients

Robbert C. Maatman, Monique A.H. Steegers, Jan-Willem Kallewaard, Marc R.M. Scheltinga, Rudi M.H. Roumen


Background: Chronic abdominal pain is occasionally due to entrapped intercostal nerve endings (ACNES, abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome). If abdominal wall infiltration using an anesthetic agent is unsuccessful, a neurectomy may be considered. Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) is a relatively new treatment option for various chronic pain syndromes. Evidence regarding a beneficial effect of this minimally invasive technique in ACNES is lacking. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of PRF treatment in ACNES patients.

Methods: A series of ACNES patients undergoing PRF treatment between January 2014 and December 2015 in two hospitals were retrospectively evaluated. Pain was recorded prior to treatment and after 6 weeks using a numerical rating scale (NRS, 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst possible pain)). Successful treatment was defined as > 50% NRS pain reduction. Patient satisfaction was scored by patient global impression of change (PGIC, 1 = very much worse, to 7 = very much improved).

Results: Twenty-six patients were studied (17 women, median age 47 years, range 18 - 67 years). After 6 weeks, mean NRS score had dropped from 6.7 ± 1.2 to 3.8 ± 2.3 (P < 0.001). A mean 4.9 ± 1.4 PGIC score was reported by then. Short term treatment success (6 - 8 weeks) was 50% (n = 13, 95% CI: 29 - 71), while 8% was pain-free on the longer term (median 15 months). Median effect duration was 4 months (range 2 - 26).

Conclusions: PRF is temporarily effective in half of patients with ACNES. PRF is safe and may be favored in neuropathic pain syndromes as nerve tissue destruction is possibly limited. A randomized controlled trial determining the potential additional role of PRF in the treatment strategy for ACNES is underway.

J Clin Med Res. 2018;10(6):508-515
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr3354w


Chronic pain; Abdominal pain; Pulsed radiofrequency; Health burden; Neuropathic pain

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, monthly, ISSN 1918-3003 (print), 1918-3011 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website: www.jocmr.org   editorial contact: editor@jocmr.org
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.