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BurstDR Stimulation Technology Offers Pain Relief in “Microdoses” for SCS

Another study showed that BurstDR revitalized pain relief in those switched from other spinal cord stimulation devices.

A PPM Brief

Abbott (Abbott Park, IL) has announced1 positive results from a study of low-energy, intermittent doses of their BurstDR stimulation technology, showing that “microdosing” provides pain relief just as effective as BurstDR’s standard doses in people with chronic, intractable pain. Abbott’s BurstDR stimulation utilizes proprietary technology to produce intermittent pulses (bursts) designed to mimic the body's natural nerve impulse patterns.

The study showed potential for prolonging the battery life of a patient’s spinal cord stimulation (SCS) device. Such lower-maintenance, recharge-free devices could relieve a common burden for patients.

Another study showed that BurstDR revitalized pain relief in those switched from other spinal cord stimulation devices. (Source: 123RF)

In the study, 40 patients started with a trial period using “microdosed” BurstDR stimulation before moving to an implanted device if they achieved at least a 50% reduction in pain. Physicians then determined the lowest effective dose of BurstDR stimulation that still delivered equal or improved pain relief compared to the control. Results showed that:

  • 100% of patients experienced pain relief with less than 6 hours of battery use per day
  • 43% of patients achieved pain relief with less than 2 hours of battery use per day.

In a separate study, patients who no longer received pain relief from their SCS therapy experienced restored pain control and reduced opioid dependency when switched to an Abbott device with a BurstDR waveform. Following the replacement of their new system, patients who had experienced minimal pain relief (24 to 26%) from competitive SCS systems reported:

  • 60 to 70% reduction in their pain
  • 41 to 52% reduction in their opiate consumption.

A loss of pain relief is the most common cause for patients seeking a better alternative to their SCS system, and combatting this addresses a key problem in long-term SCS therapy. “As a pain specialist, one of the most difficult things to combat is patients developing a tolerance to their therapy and seeing SCS therapy lose efficacy over time,” said Corey Hunter, MD, interventional pain specialist at the Ainsworth Institute of Pain Management and assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital, in a release.

“Loss of efficacy often leads to patients reverting back to chronic opioid therapy or left with no good alternative therapy options,” he continued. “I’m encouraged to see that, by switching to Abbott’s BurstDR stimulation, we can offer patients a neuromodulation treatment that is safe and effective while reducing reliance on opioid medication, regardless of their prior treatment.”

Last updated on: February 21, 2019
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