Neuromodulation in postherpetic neuralgia: Case reports and review of the literature

Svetlana Kurklinsky, Scott C. Palmer, Mack J. Arroliga, Salim M. Ghazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective. Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is common in the United States. Current treatment options for PHN are fairly limited. Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) are considered mostly experimental and still rarely performed in patients with PHN. Design. Two case reports and a review of the literature. Setting. Tertiary academic medical center. Methods. 1) Pubmed, Ovid, and EBMR databases were searched for all reports that had the following key words: postherpetic neuralgia, spinal cord stimulation, and peripheral nerve stimulation. 2) A retrospective chart review was performed for all the patients that underwent PNS for PHN at Mayo Clinic Florida (MCF). Results. There were 20 original reports that described 309 patients with PHN who were treated with SCS. Sixteen reports had a permanent implantation of SCS, with a total of 255 patients, out of which 120 had long-term pain relief. There were six reports of subcutaneous PNS for PHN (in a thoracic area). Four reports provided data on success rates where all five patients received complete pain relief. In our practice, two patients underwent subcutaneous PNS for PHN (in the thoracic area) with good pain relief for 10 months and 2.5 years, respectively. Conclusions. Based on our review of the literature and the two cases at MCF, subcutaneous PNS seems to be a promising intervention in the treatment of PHN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1244
Number of pages8
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Chronic pain
  • Peripheral nerve stimulation
  • PHN
  • PNS
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • SCS
  • Spinal cord stimulation


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