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Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (PENS): A Complementary Therapy for the Management of Pain Secondary to Bony Metastasis

Ahmed, Hesham E. M.D.; Craig, William F. M.D.; White, Paul F. Ph.D., M.D.; Huber, Philip M.D.*


Objective: To evaluate the use of a novel nonpharmacologic analgesic therapy known as percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) in the management of opioid-resistant cancer pain.

Design: PENS therapy was administered to three cancer patients on three or more occasion using acupuncturelike needle probes that were stimulated for 30 minutes at frequencies of 4-100 Hz.

Results: Two of the three patients achieved good to excellent pain relief that lasted 24-72 hours after each treatment session.

Conclusion: PENS therapy is a useful supplement to opioid analgesics for the management of pain secondary to bony metastasis in terminal cancer patients.

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management and *Department of Surgery, Eugene McDermott Center for Pain Management, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.

Manuscript submitted February 26, 1998; revision received June 18, 1998; accepted for publication June 30, 1998.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Paul F. White, Professor and McDermott Chair of Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5161 Harry Hines Boulevard, Suite CS2.202, Dallas, TX 75235-9068, U.S.A.

© 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.