Comparative Study in Patients With Refractory Chronic Lower Limb Neuropathic Pain and/or Back Neuropathic Pain.

  • End date
    Mar 20, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Poitiers University Hospital
Updated on 6 December 2021


Neuropathic pain is described as a "pain initiated or caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction in the nervous system". It is thus often a chronic affection, as a difficult-to-treat condition. As such, there is growing proportion of patients with inefficient pain relief. The prevalence of chronic neuropathic pain has been estimated from 6.9 to 10% in the general population and represents a heavy financial burden for the health care systems. Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a well-established therapy to alleviate severe intractable neuropathic pain (SCS is a reversible treatment option which leads to improve pain relief and quality of life Using conventional SCS, the prerequisite to target any pain relief is to obtain an appropriate coverage of the painful area with induced paresthesia.

Despite its effectiveness, conventional SCS has some limitations (Selectivity, Energy consumption ) and in order to address these limitations and challenges, medical devices and neuromodulation industries have developed the Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) stimulation. DRG stimulation appears to be a promising technology that can be proposed to patients with chronic neuropathic pain for several reasons: DRG stimulation has shown promising results in pathologies generating focal pain with more selectively than SCS, lead localization appeared to be less discriminative than SCS. Consequently, DRG seems more stable and efficient to relief pain with lower energy consumption than SCS (therapy can be delivered with very low amplitude compared to SCS).

Last but not least, Abbott technology has moved forward to Burst stimulation a couple of years ago and validated this new way of delivering electrical stimulation through several major publications. To our knowledge, applying new waveforms to DRG has not been yet validated. This will represent a fantastic opportunity to refine the design of the next generation of Internal Pulse Generators (IPGs).

To date, the baseline study comparing DRG stimulation to SCS is the ACCURATE study. This is a high quality prospective, multicenter, randomized comparative trial conducted in 152 patients implanted with either SCS or DRG stimulation system. Although ACCURATE study is well designed, it has some limitations.

To bridge this gap, the investigators propose to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a crossover design, where SCS and DRG stimulation will be used within patient in three conditions: (i) SCS alone, (ii) DRG stimulation alone (DRGS), (iii) combination of SCS and DRGS (DUAL).

Our goal will be to compare SCS vs DRGS vs DUAL therapies in order to establish the superiority of DRG stimulation over SCS in a crossover design, assess the added value of hybrid stimulation (DUAL) over the separate standalone stimulation types, compare the different cortical pathways involved in both techniques, by functional imaging, incl. MRI, analyze energy consumption by optimizing neural targeting. assess the added value of applying Burst on these different targets, after a 3-month follow-up and to reinforce the perception of neurostimulation techniques through the pain community, as the investigators will demonstrate their benefits on pain relief, functional capacity and quality of life, with objectives measures and a randomized design. This study represents a unique opportunity to boost the rationale of SCS/DRGS since each arm of treatment will be blinded for the patient and the implanter.

Condition Neuralgia
Treatment Spinal Cord Stimulation, association of both (DUAL), Dorsal Root Ganglion stimulation
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04852107
SponsorPoitiers University Hospital
Last Modified on6 December 2021


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Inclusion Criteria

Subject has 18 years and 80 years
Subject has a VAS 5
Subject has refractory chronic lower limbs neuropathic pain (e.g. diabetic foot peripheral neuropathy, foot peripheral neuropathy, ankle peripheral neuropathy) or/and neuropathic back pain for at least 6 months
Subject has stable pain for at least 30 days
Pain medication(s) dosage(s) is/are stable for at least 30 days
Subject is refractory to other treatment modalities (e.g. Medication, psychological therapies, pain interventions, surgery)
Subject is eligible for SCS after a pre-implantation assessment by a multidisciplinary team, as described by the French National Authority for Health
Subject understands and accepts constraints of the study
Patient covered by French national health insurance
Subject has given written consent to the study after having received clear and complete information
Non inclusion criteria
Subject has a coagulation disorder
Subject is or has been treated with SCS, subcutaneous or peripheral nerve stimulation, an intrathecal drug delivery system
Subject has had corticosteroid therapy within the past 30 days
Subject has had radiofrequency therapy within the past 3 months
Subject has been diagnosed with cancer in the past 2 years
Subject has had a spinal surgery within the past 6 months
Subjects requiring closer protection, i.e. minors, pregnant women, nursing mothers, subjects deprived of their freedom by a court or administrative decision, subjects admitted to a health or social welfare establishment, major subjects under legal protection, and finally patients in an emergency setting
Simultaneous participation to any interventional study on health product or any study able to interfere with the current study endpoints
Pregnant or breastfeeding women, women at age to procreate and not using effective contraception
Brain MRI contraindication
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