Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) activates the dorsal column fibers using electrical stimuli. Current SCS systems function in fixed-output mode, delivering the same stimulus regardless of spinal cord (SC) activation.
To present long-term outcomes of a novel closed-loop SCS system that aims to maintain the SC activation near a set target level and within a therapeutic window for each patient. SC activation is measured through the evoked compound action potential (ECAP) generated by each stimulus pulse.
Fifty patients with lower back and/or leg pain who were successfully trialed received a permanent system (Evoke; Saluda Medical, Sydney, Australia). Ratings of pain (visual analog scale), quality of life, function, sleep, and medication use were collected at baseline and at each visit. SC activation levels were reported in summary statistics. The therapeutic window for each individual patient was defined as the range of ECAP amplitudes between sensation threshold and uncomfortably strong stimulation.
At 12 mo, the proportion of patients with ≥50% relief was 76.9% (back), 79.3% (leg), and 81.4% (overall), and the proportion with ≥80% pain relief was 56.4% (back), 58.6% (leg), and 53.5% (overall). Patients spent a median of 84.9% of their time with stimulation in their therapeutic window, and 68.8% (22/32) eliminated or reduced their opioid intake. Statistically significant improvements in secondary outcomes were observed.
The majority of patients experienced more than 80% pain relief with stable SC activation, as measured by ECAP amplitude at 12 mo, providing evidence for the long-term effectiveness of the Evoke closed-loop SCS system.
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