Last updated on February 2019

Neuromodulation in Patients With Painful Chronic Pancreatitis

Brief description of study

The purpose of this trial is to explore if a novel vagal neuromodulation approach provides analgesic benefit through central mechanisms in patients with chronic pancreatitis

Detailed Study Description

This study is a randomized, double blind, sham-controlled, cross-over, controlled investigation. The overall objective of the study is to conduct a study of vagal tone and the sensory system (brain activity, sensory testing, and questionnaires) assessing the effect of two weeks' transcutaneous vagal neuromodulation in chronic pancreatitis patients not responding adequately to traditional pharmacological pain treatment, in comparison to the effect of two weeks' sham treatment. The active treatment will be performed using a commercially available and validated device called GammaCore (the active treatment) while the sham treatment will be performed using a sham-device. GammaCore device is a non-invasive neurostimulator that has been approved for the treatment of anxiety, primary headache, including migraine.

The study will begin with a one-week baseline registration period, in which the patients will receive no treatment. Next, the baseline period will be followed by a 2-week treatment period where the subjects will be randomized to either active treatment or the sham treatment. Afterwards, a wash-out period of one week and a second baseline registration period of one week will occur. Finally, in the second treatment period the patients will switch in treatment assignment, meaning that patient who received active treatment in the beginning, will now receive sham treatment and vice versa. During both treatments, the patients will be asked to self-administer one stimulation dose bilaterally to the cervical vagal neck area, three times per day (morning 8 am., afternoon 2 pm, and evening 8 pm). During the whole study, subjects will be asked to complete a pain diary and several questionnaires. Moreover, at the beginning and end of each treatment period (four times), all subjects will undergo testing which will include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), quantitative sensory testing (QST), cardiac vagal tone (CVT) and collecting blood samples.

The primary efficacy parameters to be evaluated are clinical pain relief and brain alterations using MRI.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03357029

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