Long-term Evaluation of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Patients With Painful Diabetic Polyneuropathy: An Eight-to-Ten-Year Prospective Cohort Study

Xander Zuidema, Elke van Daal, Iris van Geel, Thomas J de Geus, Sander M J van Kuijk, Bastiaan E de Galan, Nelleke de Meij*, Jan Van Zundert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the long-term effects of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in patients with painful diabetic polyneuropathy (PDPN).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective cohort study was the eight-to-ten-year follow-up of a previously performed pilot and randomized controlled trial on the effects of SCS in PDPN, initiated by the multidisciplinary pain center of Maastricht University Medical Center+. The study population consisted of a subgroup of patients who still used SCS treatment ≥ eight years after implantation (n = 19). Pain intensity scores (numeric rating scale [NRS]) during the day and night and data on secondary outcomes (ie, quality of life, depression, sleep quality) were reported during yearly follow-up consultations. Long-term efficacy of SCS was analyzed by comparing the most recently obtained data eight to ten years after implantation with those obtained at baseline.

RESULTS: Pain intensity, day and night, was significantly (p < 0.01) reduced by 2.3 (NRS 6.6-4.3) and 2.2 (NRS 6.8-4.6) points, respectively, when comparing the long-term data with baseline. Moreover, for > 50% of patients, the pain reduction was > 30%, which is considered clinically meaningful. No differences were found regarding the secondary outcomes.

CONCLUSION: This eight-to-ten-year follow-up study indicates that SCS can remain an effective treatment in the long term to reduce pain intensity in a subcohort of patients with PDPN who still had an SCS device implanted after eight years.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Dec 2022

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