Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and complications of C2 dorsal root ganglion (DRG) pulsed radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for cervicogenic headache (CEH) and to identify factors related to the outcome of the procedure in this retrospective analysis. Background: Although conventional high-temperature C2 DRG RFA was effective in patients with CEH in previous studies, the effect of pulsed RFA on C2 DRG in cases of CEH has not yet been evaluated. Methods: We examined the electronic medical records of consecutive patients who underwent C2 DRG block for CEH from January 2012 to May 2018 at a pain center. Consequent C2 DRG pulsed RFA was performed for patients in whom the headache recurred after an initial period of relief 24 hours after the C2 DRG block. A successful outcome was defined as at least 50% pain relief at 6 months after C2 DRG pulsed RFA. We also examined variables associated with the outcome and prognostic factors of CEH. Results: Fluoroscopy-guided C2 DRG block was performed in 114 patients with CEH. Forty-five patients received C2 DRG pulsed RFA and 40.0% among them (18/45, success group) had ≥50% pain relief after 6 months. There were no post-procedure complications throughout the study period. Significantly more patients in the success group than in the failure group had a definite positive response (≥50% pain relief) to a previous C2 DRG block (P <.001). Conclusion: C2 DRG pulsed RFA may be an effective treatment for patients with CEH, particularly for patients who have previously experienced definite pain reduction after C2 DRG block. However, the limitations of our study design and small number of patients preclude firm conclusions.
- cervicogenic headache
- chronic pain
- dorsal root ganglion
- percutaneous neuromodulation therapy
- pulsed radiofrequency treatments
- radiofrequency ablation