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Papers of the Week

2019 Apr 18

Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban



[Spinal cord stimulation for non-reconstructable chronic ritical limb ischemiae: a case report].


Li WH, Zhang XM, He ZB, Zhang XM, Jiang JJ, Zhang T, Li W, Li QL
Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2019 Apr 18; 51(2):362-364.
PMID: 30996384.


Peripheral arterial disease is one part of systematic atherosclerosis, becoming a heavy burden of human health. Patients in end stage of peripheral arterial disease manifest critical limb ischemia with severe rest pain and refractory ulcer. Surgical revascularization is the optimal option for patients with critical limb ischemia to avoid major amputation and improve quality of life. However, some of them contraindicate surgical revascularizations owing to coexisting morbidities. Spinal cord stimulation is reported to be effective and minimally invasive in pain relief and limb salvage for patients with limb ischemia. Here, we reported one case with chronic critical limb ischemia and gangrene of foot who underwent spinal cord stimulation, which was, as we knew, the first case in China. He was diagnosed with Burger disease and accompanied with history of stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Castleman's disease. It showed totally occlusive lesions of external iliac and femoropopliteal artery and no outflows below the knee in the computed tomography angiography. Given the complexity of lesions and weakness of the patient, spinal cord stimulation was indicated for control of rest pain and limb salvage. As specified, we implanted the temporary neurostimulator as the first step. After 2 weeks from temporary neurostimulator implantation, the patient achieved significant relief in intensity of pain, and acquired 20% improvement of transcutaneous oxygen pressure. The satisfactory results indicated probable effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation, thus we performed the permanent neurostimulator implantation 1 month later. During 2 months of follow-up, the patients stabilized at Fountain III with pain relief with one kind of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. In our case, we confirmed the significant validity of spinal cord stimulation for pain control and consequent improvement of quality of life in non-reconstructable chronic critical limb ischemia. Furthermore, we reviewed that a number of published studies suggested that spinal cord stimulation be a reasonable option for patients with critical rest pain, especially who contraindicated surgical revascularization. The application of spinal cord stimulation in pain relief for non-reconstructable chronic critical limb ischemia was approved by related guidelines released by European Society of Cardiology and Trans-Atlantic Inter-Society Consensus. Further investigations are required for assessing the long-term outcome in limb salvage.