Stimulation of the Dorsal Root Ganglion

Liong Liem
Progress in Neurological Surgery 2015, 29: 213-24
Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation has recently emerged as a new neuromodulation modality that stays on the intersection of the peripheral and central nervous system. With DRG location within the spinal column and with electrodes for DRG stimulation placed through the intraspinal epidural space, it may make more sense to group DRG stimulation together with more commonly used spinal cord stimulation (SCS) rather than peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS), particularly if one agrees that the stimulation delivered to DRG partly works downstream at the spinal cord level. Based on current experience, it appears that DRG stimulation of the spinal cord is as effective as SCS in relieving various neuropathic pain syndromes including pain due to failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndromes, and chronic postsurgical pain. In addition to its efficacy, DRG stimulation of the spinal cord is associated with a lower rate of migrations and lack of positional side effects that may be seen with SCS and PNS. Here we summarize the knowledge base and clinical evidence for DRG stimulation of the spinal cord, and present hypotheses of its mechanism of action.

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