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Allergic Reaction to Spinal Cord Stimulator

Ochani, Teekam D. M.D.*; Almirante, James M.D.*; Siddiqui, Afzaal M.D.*; Kaplan, Ronald M.D.

The Clinical Journal of Pain: June 2000 - Volume 16 - Issue 2 - p 178-180
Case Report

Objective: The objective was to report on the possibility of allergic reaction to the components of a spinal cord stimulator.

Design: We describe a severe allergic reaction after the insertion of a spinal cord stimulator in a patient with complex regional pain syndrome type 1.

Setting: The patient was being followed in an office-based pain management practice.

Patient: The patient is a 41-year-old woman with complex regional pain syndrome type 1, post-trauma.

Intervention: Insertion of a cervical and lumbar spinal cord stimulator.

Outcome Measures: The outcome measures were a numerical scale of pain intensity and the ability to perform the activities of daily living.

Results: Adequate pain control complicated by allergic reaction.

Conclusions: There exists a possibility that a patient may experience an allergic reaction to spinal cord stimulator components. Recognition of such contact sensitivity is important for physicians implanting such devices. Patients may be misdiagnosed as having infections, which can delay appropriate management; definitive diagnosis can be confirmed with a patch test. Treatment consists of removal of such devices.

*Fellow, Anesthesiology Pain Management Program, Montefiore Medical Center; †Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, Department of Clinical Anesthesiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York

Received July 21, 1999; revised November 23, 1999; accepted December 23, 1999.

Address correspondence to Dr. Teekam D. Ochani, Pain Management Program, Montefiore Medical Center, Suite 400, 3400 Bainbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY 10467; E-mail:

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.