Publications by authors named "Amnon A Berger"

48 Publications

Caudal epidural blood patch for the treatment of persistent post-dural puncture headache following intrathecal pump placement in a patient with lumbar instrumentation.

Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2021 Mar 31. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Anaesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/ait.2021.104369DOI Listing
March 2021

An Evidence-Based Review of Elagolix for the Treatment of Pain Secondary to Endometriosis.

Psychopharmacol Bull 2020 Oct;50(4 Suppl 1):197-215

Urits, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Berger, MD, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Adamian, BS, Creighton University School of Medicine-Phoenixix Regional Campus, Phoenix, AZ. Miro, BS, Callan, BS, M. Patel, BS, Patel, BS, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ. Kassem, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Miami Beach, FL. Kaye, MD, PhD, Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neurosciences, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Viswanath, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ; Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE.

Purpose Of Review: This is a review of elagolix use for pain related to endometriosis. It summarizes the background and recent data available about the pathogenesis of endometriosis and pain that is secondary to this syndrome. It then reviews the evidence to support the use of elagolix and the indications for use.

Recent Findings: Endometriosis occurs in 10% of reproductive-age women and is a common source of chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and co-morbid disorders. It usually presents with some combination of dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility. Treatment options may be surgical or hormonal. Traditional treatment is divided into medical and surgical. The latter, though effective, is reserved for surgical emergencies and patients failing medical management. Medical management with NSAIDs is usually limited in efficacy. It is generally based on hormonal suppression leading to atrophy of endometrial lesions. Elagolix (Orlissa) is a GnRH antagonist that suppressed the entire hypophysis-gonadal axis. Reduced levels of estrogen and progesterone lead to involution of the endometrial lesions and improvement in symptoms. Clinical trials showed that elagolix is effective in treating dysmenorrhea and non-menstrual pain that is secondary to endometriosis. It is well tolerated and has a relatively safe usage profile. Studies up to 12 months long showed continued efficacy and reduction in dysmenorrhea of up to 75%, with 50%-60% reduction in non-menstrual pain. Elagolix was found effective when compared to both placebo and alternative treatments.

Summary: Endometriosis is a common syndrome that causes significant pain, morbidity, and disability, as well as financial loss. Elagolix is an effective drug in treating the symptoms of endometriosis and is a relatively safe option. Phase 4 studies will be required to evaluate the safety and efficacy of long term chronic use.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901127PMC
October 2020

A Comprehensive Review of Slipping Rib Syndrome: Treatment and Management.

Psychopharmacol Bull 2020 Oct;50(4 Suppl 1):189-196

Gress, BS, Charipova, BS, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Kassem, MD, Schwartz, DO, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Miami Beach, FL. Berger, MD, PhD, Hasoon, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Urits, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Cornett, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Kaye, MD, PhD, Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neurosciences, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Viswanath, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ; Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE.

Purpose Of Review: This is a comprehensive review and update on advances in the understanding and treatment of slipping rib syndrome. It covers the physiology and pathophysiology at the basis of the syndrome, epidemiology and clinical presentation as well as diagnosis. It goes on to review the available literature to provide description and comparison of the available methods for alleviation.

Recent Findings: Slipping rib syndrome stems from irritation of intercostal nerves. It is caused by slipping of the costal cartilage and the resulting displacement of a false rib and pinning underneath the adjacent superior rib and nerve irritation. It is rare and spans genders and ages; most evidence about epidemiology is conflicting and mostly anecdotal. Risk factors include trauma and high intensity athletic activity. Presentation is of a sudden onset of pain with jerking motion; the pain can be localized, radiating or diffuse visceral. It is often alleviated by positions that offload the impinged nerve. Diagnosis is clinical, and can be aided by Hooking maneuver and dynamic ultrasound. Definitive diagnosis is with pain relief on nerve block, visualization of altered anatomy during surgery and relief after surgical correction. Initial treatment includes rest, ice and NSAIDs, as well as screening for co-morbid conditions, as well as local symptomatic relief. Injection therapy with local anesthetics and steroids can provide a diagnosis as well as symptomatic relief. Surgical correction remains the definitive treatment.

Summary: Slipping rib syndrome is a rare cause of chest pain that could be perceived as local or diffuse pain. Diagnosis is initially clinical and can be confirmed with nerve blocks and surgical visualization. Initial treatment is symptomatic and anti-inflammatory, and definitive treatment remains surgical. More recently, advanced surgical options have paved way for cure for previously hard to treat patients.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901126PMC
October 2020

Lasmiditan for the Treatment of Migraines With or Without Aura in Adults.

Psychopharmacol Bull 2020 Oct;50(4 Suppl 1):163-188

Berger, MD, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Winnick, MA, Soroka University Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel; School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA. Popovsky, MS, Kaneb, BA, Berardino, BS, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC. Kaye, Pharm D, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of the Pacific, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Stockton, CA. Cornett, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Kaye, MD, PhD, Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neurosciences, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Viswanath, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ; Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE. Urits, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Migraines are a common form of primary headache, affecting women more than men (17.4% and 5.7% of US population, respectively, a total of 12%) that carry significant morbidity and disability, as well as a hefty healthcare price tag. They are most prevalent in women of reproductive ages and are estimated to be the 6th disease in order of causing global burden. They are estimated to cause 45.1 million years lived with disability, or 2.9% of global years lost to disability. Migraine treatment divides into acute, abortive treatment for relief of an ongoing migraine attack, and prophylactic therapy to reduce the occurrence of migraines, specifically for patients suffering from chronic and frequent episodic migraines. Traditional abortive treatment usually begins with NSAID and non-specific analgesics that are effective in curbing mild to moderate attacks. 5HT-agonists, such as triptans, are often used for second-line and for severe attacks. Triptans are generally better tolerated in the longterm than NSAIDs and other analgesics, though they carry a significant side-effect profile and are contraindicated in large parts of the population. Prophylactic therapy is usually reserved for patients with frequent recurrence owing to medication side effects and overall poor adherence to the medication schedule. Importantly, medication overuse may actually lead to the development of chronic migraines from previously episodic attacks. Recent research has shed more light on the pathophysiology of migraine and the role of CGRP in the trigeminovascular system. Recent pharmacological advances were made in developing more specific drugs based on this knowledge, including CGRP neutralizing antibodies, receptor antagonists, and the development of ditans. These novel drugs are highly specific to peripheral and central 5-HT receptors and effective in the treatment of acute migraine attacks. Binding these receptors reduces the production of CGRP and Glutamate, two important ligands in the nociceptive stimulus involved with the generation and propagation of migraines. Several large clinical studies showed Lasmiditan to be effective in the treatment of acute migraine attacks. Importantly, due to its receptor specificity, it lacks the vasoconstriction that is associated with triptans and is thus safer is larger parts of the population, specifically in patients with cardiac and vascular disease. Though more research is required, specifically with aftermarket surveillance to elucidate rare potential side effects, Lasmiditan is a targeted anti-migraine drug that is both safe and effective, and carries an overall superior therapeutic profile to its predecessors. It joins the array of medications that target CGRP signaling, such as gepants and CGRP-antibodies, to establish a new line of care for this common disabling condition.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901123PMC
October 2020

Oral Muscle Relaxants for the Treatment of Chronic Pain Associated with Cerebral Palsy.

Psychopharmacol Bull 2020 Oct;50(4 Suppl 1):142-162

Peck, MD, Noor, BS, Kassem, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Miami Beach, FL. Urits, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Crane, BS, McNally, BS, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Patel, BS, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ. Cornett, MD, Louisiana State University Health Sciences, Department of Anesthesiology, New Orleans, LA. Kaye, Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neurosciences, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Viswanath, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ; Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE.

Purpose Of Review: This is a comprehensive literature review of the available for treatment of oral muscle relaxants for cerebral palsy (CP) and associated chronic pain. It briefly describes the background and etiology of pain in CP and proceeds to review and weigh the available evidence for treatment for muscle relaxants.

Recent Findings: CP is a permanent, chronic, non-progressive neuromuscular and neurocognitive disorder of motor dysfunction that is diagnosed in infancy and is frequently (62% of patients) accompanied by chronic or recurrent muscular pain. Treatment of pain is crucial, and focuses mostly on treatment of spasticity through non-interventional techniques, surgery and medical treatment. Botulinum toxin injections provide temporary denervation, at the cost of repeated needle sticks. More recently, the use of oral muscle relaxants has gained ground and more evidence are available to evaluate its efficacy. Common oral muscle relaxants include baclofen, dantrolene and diazepam. Baclofen is commonly prescribed for spasticity in CP; however, despite year-long experience, there is little evidence to support its use and evidence from controlled trials are mixed. Dantrolene has been used for 30 years, and very little current evidence exists to support its use. Its efficacy is usually impacted by non-adherence due to difficult dosing and side-effects. Diazepam, a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine carries risks of CNS depression as well as addiction and abuse. Evidence supporting its use is mostly dated, but more recent findings support short-term use for pain control as well as enabling non-pharmacological interventions that achieve long term benefit but would otherwise not be tolerated. More recent options include cyclobenzaprine and tizanidine. Cyclobenzaprine carries a more significant adverse events profile, including CNS sedation; it was found to be effective, possible as effective as diazepam, however, it is not currently FDA approved for CP-related spasticity and further evidence is required to support its use. Tizanidine was shown to be very effective in a handful of small studies.

Summary: Muscle relaxants are an important adjunct in CP therapy and are crucial in treatment of pain, as well as enabling participation in other forms of treatments. Evidence exist to support their use, however, it is not without risk and further research is required to highlight proper dosing, co-treatments and patient selection.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901132PMC
October 2020

A Comprehensive Review and Update of the Use of Dexmedetomidine for Regional Blocks.

Psychopharmacol Bull 2020 Oct;50(4 Suppl 1):121-141

Urits, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Berger, MD, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Kaye, MD, PhD, Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neurosciences, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Virgen, BS, Alattar, BS, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ. Jung, BS, Georgetown University School of Medicine, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC. Kassem, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Miami Beach, FL. Shehata, MD, Ain Shams University, Department of Anesthesiology, Cairo, Egypt. Elhassan, MD, Desert Regional Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Palm Springs, CA. Viswanath, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ; Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ; Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE.

Purpose Of Review: This evidence-based systematic review will focus on the use of dexmedetomidine and its role as adjuvant anesthetics in regional blocks to help better guide physicians in their practice. This review will cover background and mechanism of dexmedetomidine as well as the use in various regional blocks.

Recent Findings: Local anesthetics are preferred for nerve blocks over opioids; however, both due come with its own side effects. Local anesthetics may be toxic as they disrupt cell membrane and proteins, but by using adjuvants such as dexmedetomidine, that can prolong sensory and motor blocks can reduce total amount of local anesthetics needed. Dexmedetomidine is an alpha-2-adrenergic agonist used as additive for regional nerve block. It has a relatively low side effect profile and have been researched in various regional blocks (intrathecal, paravertebral, axillary, infraclavicular brachial plexus, interscalene). Dexmedetomidine shows promising results as adjuvant anesthetics in most regional blocks.

Summary: Many studies have been done and many show promising results for the use of dexmedetomidine in regional blocks. It may significantly increase in duration of sensory and motor blocks that correlates with lower pain scores and less need of morphine in various regional blocks.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901136PMC
October 2020

Interventional Approaches to Pain and Spasticity Related to Cerebral Palsy.

Psychopharmacol Bull 2020 Oct;50(4 Suppl 1):108-120

Peck, MD, Kassem, MD, Berger, MD, PhD, Herman, DO, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Miami Beach, FL. Urits, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Lee, BS, Creighton University School of Medicine, Phoenix, Arizona. Robinson, BS, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC. Cornett, PhD, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Department of Anesthesiology, New Orleans, LA. Jung, BS, Georgetown University School of Medicine, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC. Kaye, Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neurosciences, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Viswanath, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ; Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE.

Purpose Of Review: This review will cover seminal and emerging evidence on interventional therapy chronic pain in cerebral palsy (CP). It will cover the background and burden of disease, present the current options, and then weigh the evidence that is available to support interventional therapy and the current indications.

Recent Findings: CP is a permanent posture and movement disorder from in-utero brain development defects with a 3-4/1,000 incidence in the US. The cost of care for each child is estimated at $921,000. Pain in CP is attributed to musculoskeletal deformities, spasticity, increased muscle tone, dislocations, and GI dysfunction. First-line treatments include physical and occupational therapy and oral pharmacological agents; however, a significant amount of patients remain refractory to these and require further therapy. Injection therapy includes botulinum toxin A (BTA) injections and intrathecal baclofen. BTA injections were shown to control chronic pain effectively and are FDA approved for spastic pain; intra-thecal baclofen, in contrast, was only shown to improve comfort and quality of life with a focus on the pain. Surgical intervention includes selection dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). It may increase range of motion and quality of life and reduce spasticity and pain; however, most evidence is anecdotal, and more research is required.

Summary: Interventional therapy, including injection and surgical, is the last line of therapy for chronic pain in CP. It extends the possibility of therapy in hard-to-treat individuals; however, more data is required to provide strong evidence to the efficacy of these treatments and guide proper patient selection.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901135PMC
October 2020

An Evidence Based Review of Epidurolysis for the Management of Epidural Adhesions.

Psychopharmacol Bull 2020 Oct;50(4 Suppl 1):74-90

Urits, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Berger, MD, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Schwartz, DO, Kassem, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Miami Beach, FL. Brinkman, BS, Foster, BS, Miro, BS, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ. Kaye, MD, PhD, Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neurosciences, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Manchikanti, MD, Pain Management Centers of America, Paducah, KY. Viswanath, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ; Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE.

Purpose Of Review: This review presents epidurolysis as a procedure to alleviate pain and disability from epidural adhesions. It reviews novel and groundbreaking evidence, describing the background, indications, benefits and adverse events from this procedure in an effort to provide healthcare experts with the data required to decide on an intervention for their patients.

Recent Findings: Epidural adhesions (EA) or epidural fibrosis (EF) is defined as non-physiologic scar formation secondary to a local inflammatory reaction provoked by tissue trauma in the epidural space. Often, it is a sequelae of surgical spine intervention or instrumentation. The cost associated with chronic post-operative back pain has been reported to be up to nearly $12,500 dollars per year; this, coupled with the increasing prevalence of chronic lower back pain and the subsequent increase in surgical management of back pain, renders EF a significant cost and morbidity in the U.S. Though risk factors leading to the development of EA are not well established, epidural fibrosis has been reported to be the culprit in up to 46% of cases of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS), a chronic pain condition found in up to 20-54% of patients who receive back surgery. Moreover, EF has also been associated with lumbar radiculopathy after lumbar disc surgery. Epidurolysis is defined as the mechanical dissolution of epidural fibrotic scar tissue for persistent axial spine or radicular pain due to epidural fibrosis that is refractory to conservative therapy Endoscopic lysis of adhesions is a procedural technique which has been shown to improve chronic back pain in one-third to one-half of patients with clinically symptomatic fibrous adhesions. Here we review some of the novel evidence that supports this procedure in EA and FBSS.

Summary: The literature concerning epidurolysis in the management of epidural adhesions is insufficient. Prospective studies, including randomized controlled trials and observational studies, have suggested epidurolysis to be effective in terms of pain reduction, functional improvement, and patient satisfaction scores. Observational studies report epidurolysis as a well-tolerated, safe procedure. Current evidence suggests that epidurolysis may be used as an effective treatment modality for epidural adhesions. Nonetheless, further high quality randomized controlled studies assessing the safety and efficacy of epidurolysis in the management of epidural adhesions is needed.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901122PMC
October 2020

A Comprehensive Update of the Superior Hypogastric Block for the Management of Chronic Pelvic Pain.

Curr Pain Headache Rep 2021 Feb 25;25(3):13. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Shreveport, LA, USA.

Purpose Of Review: This is a comprehensive review of the superior hypogastric block for the management of chronic pelvic pain. It reviews the background, including etiology, epidemiology, and current treatment available for chronic pelvic pain. It then presents the superior hypogastric block and reviews the seminal and most recent evidence about its use in chronic pelvic pain.

Recent Findings: Several definitions exist for chronic pelvic pain (CPP), making the diagnosis more challenging for the clinician; however, they commonly describe continuous pain lasting 6 months in the pelvis, with an overwhelming majority of patients being reproductive-aged women. This pain is often one of mechanical, inflammatory, or neuropathic. It is generally underdiagnosed and affects anywhere between 5 and 26% of women. The diagnosis of chronic pelvic pain is clinical, consisting of mainly of a thorough history and physical and ruling out other causes. The pathophysiology is often endometriosis (70%) and also includes PID, adhesions, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, chronic processes of the GI and urinary tracts, as well as pelvic-intrinsic musculoskeletal causes. Treatment includes physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and oral and parenteral opioids. Interventional techniques provide an added tier of treatment and may help to reduce the requirement for chronic opioid use. Superior hypogastric plexus block is one of the available interventional techniques; first described in 1990, it has been shown to provide long-lasting relief in 50-70% of patients who underwent the procedure. Two approaches described so far, both under fluoroscopy, have seen similar results. More recently, ultrasound and CT-guided procedures have also been described with similar success. The injectate includes local anesthetic, steroids, and neurolytic agents such as phenol or ethanol. CPP is a common debilitating condition. It is diagnosed clinically and is underdiagnosed globally. Current treatments can be helpful at times but may fall short of satisfactory pain relief. Interventional techniques provide an added layer of treatment as well as reduce the requirement for opioids. Superior hypogastric plexus block provides long-lasting relief in many patients, regardless of approach. Evidence level is limited, and further RCTs could help provide better tools for evaluation and patient selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11916-020-00933-0DOI Listing
February 2021

Interventional pain management for a patient with chronic post-traumatic headaches after a traumatic brain injury.

Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2021 Feb 15:1-2. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Valley Anaesthesiology and Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/ait.2021.103521DOI Listing
February 2021

A Comprehensive Review and Update of Post-surgical Cutaneous Nerve Entrapment.

Curr Pain Headache Rep 2021 Feb 5;25(2):11. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Purpose Of Review: This is a comprehensive review of the literature regarding post-surgical cutaneous nerve entrapment, epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical presentation. It focuses mainly on nerve entrapment leading to chronic pain and the available therapies.

Recent Findings: Cutaneous nerve entrapment is not an uncommon result (up to 30% of patients) of surgery and could lead to significant, difficult to treat chronic pain. Untreated, entrapment can lead to neuropathy and damage to enervated structures and musculature, and significant morbidity and financial loss. Nerve entrapment is defined as pressure neuropathy from chronic compression. It causes changes to all layers of the nerve tissue. It is most significantly associated with hernia repair and other procedures employing a Pfannenstiel incision. The initial insult is usually incising of the nerve, followed by formation of a neuroma, incorporation of the nerve during closing, or constriction from adhesions. The three most commonly involved nerves are the iliohypogastric, ilioinguinal, and genitofemoral nerves. Cutaneous abdominal nerve entrapment could occur during thoracoabdominal surgery. The presentation of nerve entrapment usually involved post-surgical pain in the territory innervated by the trapped nerve, possibly with radiation that tracks the nerve course. Once a suspected neuropathy is identified, it can be diagnosed with relief in pain after a nerve block has been instilled. Treatment is usually started with pharmaceutical solutions, topical first and oral if those fail. Most patients require escalation to a second line of treatment and see good result with injection therapy. Those that require further escalation can choose between ablation and surgical therapies. Post-surgical nerve entrapment is not uncommon and causes serious morbidity and financial loss. It is underdiagnosed and thus undertreated. Preventing nerve entrapment is the best treatment; when it does occur, options include topical and oral analgesics, nerve blocks, ablation therapy, and repeat surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11916-020-00924-1DOI Listing
February 2021

Treatment and Management of Loin Pain Hematuria Syndrome.

Curr Pain Headache Rep 2021 Jan 25;25(1). Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, Shreveport, LA, USA.

Purpose Of Review: Loin pain hematuria syndrome (LPHS) is rare and seldom diagnosed, yet it has a particularly significant impact on those affected. This is a review of the latest and seminal evidence of the pathophysiology and diagnosis of LPHS and presents the typical clinical presentation and treatment options available.

Recent Findings: LPHS is typically found in young women with characteristic symptoms, including severe recurrent flank pain and gross or microscopic hematuria. The majority of patients will experience crippling pain for many years without effective therapy, often requiring frequent use of narcotic medication. However, the lack of conclusive pathophysiology, in conjunction with the rarity of LPHS, has prohibited the development and trial of definitive treatment options. Nevertheless, in order to combat this rare but severe disease, management strategies have continued to evolve, ranging from conservative measures to invasive procedures. This review presents an overview of the current hypotheses on the pathophysiology of LPHS in addition to summarizing the management strategies that have been utilized. Only 30% of LPHS patients will experience spontaneous resolution, whereas the majority will continue to face chronic, crippling pain. Several methods of treatment, including invasive and non-invasive, may provide an improved outcome to these patients. Treatment should be individually tailored and multi-disciplinary in nature. Further research is required to further elucidate the pathophysiology and develop new, specific, treatment options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11916-020-00925-0DOI Listing
January 2021

Baricitinib for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Reumatologia 2020 23;58(6):407-415. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Valley Anesthesiology and Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common inflammatory disease with several implications on health, disability and economy. Conventional treatment for RA centers on anti-inflammatory drugs and specific targeting of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Baricitinib is a novel, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, once daily oral drug that is effective in combination with current treatment and results in significantly reduced symptoms with good safety profile. Further studies are required to find rare side effects and evaluate the long term efficacy in disease modulation and patient symptom reduction. This is a comprehensive review of the literature on baricitinib for the treatment of RA. This review provides an update on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and conventional treatment of RA, then proceeds to introduce baricitinib and the data that exists to support or refute its use in RA. The presented study also indicated clinical trials confirming the effectiveness of baricitinib in this indication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/reum.2020.102006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7792534PMC
December 2020

Sphenopalatine ganglion block for abortive treatment of a migraine headache.

Saudi J Anaesth 2020 Oct-Dec;14(4):548-549. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/sja.SJA_810_19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796753PMC
September 2020

Acupuncture for the Management of Low Back Pain.

Curr Pain Headache Rep 2021 Jan 14;25(1). Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Anesthesiology, LSUHSC School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA, USA.

Purpose Of Review: This evidence-based systematic review will focus on the use of acupuncture and its role in the treatment of low back pain to help better guide physicians in their practice. It will cover the background and the burden of low back pain and present the current options for treatment and weigh the evidence that is available to support acupuncture as a treatment modality for low back pain.

Recent Findings: Low back pain (LBP), defined as a disorder of the lumbosacral spine and categorized as acute, subacute, or chronic, can be a debilitating condition for many patients. Chronic LBP is more typically defined by its chronicity with pain persisting > 12 weeks in duration. Conventional treatment for chronic LBP includes both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic options. First-line pharmacologic therapy involves the use of NSAIDs, then SNRI/TCA/skeletal muscle relaxants, and antiepileptics. Surgery is usually not recommended for chronic non-specific LBP patients. According to the 2016 CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and the 2017 American College of Physicians (ACP) clinical practice guidelines for chronic pain, non-pharmacologic interventions, acupuncture can be a first-line treatment for patients suffering from chronic low back pain. Many studies have been done, and most show promising results for acupuncture as an alternative treatment for low back pain. Due to non-standardized methods for acupuncture with many variations, standardization remains a challenge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11916-020-00919-yDOI Listing
January 2021

Pain Alleviation and Opioid Weaning in an 80-Year-Old with Chronic Foot Pain Following Injection Therapy with Perineural Dexmedetomidine and Dexamethasone.

Surg J (N Y) 2021 Jan 7;7(1):e1-e2. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Portsmouth Anesthesia Associates, Portsmouth, Virginia.

Opiates are routinely used for chronic pain patients, and up to 44% of them will have a prescription for an opiate medication for pain alleviation. However, of the 76 million adults prescribed opiates for pain management, about 12% report misuse, and a large number of these may find themselves addicted to opioid medications. Opioid addiction is an ongoing epidemic, costing many lives. Withdrawal is very difficult. This requires providers to consider alternative analgesic plans and minimize opiate use. Here we report the use of a dexamethasone-dexmedetomidine combination for a regional nerve block in an elderly woman chronically treated with opiate medications who had previously failed opiate weaning. Following her nerve block, she was able to completely wean off of opioids and continues having good pain control with an opioid-free regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1722176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790527PMC
January 2021

A comprehensive review of the treatment and management of Charcot spine.

Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis 2020 17;12:1759720X20979497. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Department of Anesthesiology, LSUHSC School of Medicine, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA.

Charcot spine arthropathy (CSA), a result of reduced afferent innervation, is an occurrence of Charcot joint, a progressive, degenerative disorder in vertebral joints, related mostly to spinal cord injury. The repeated microtrauma is a result of a lack of muscle protection and destroys cartilage, ligaments, and disc spaces, leading to vertebrae destruction, joint instability, subluxation, and dislocation. Joint destruction compresses nerve roots, resulting in pain, paresthesia, sensory loss, dysautonomia, and spasticity. CSA presents with back pain, spinal deformity and instability, and audible spine noises during movement. Autonomic dysfunction includes bowel and bladder dysfunction. It is slowly progressive and usually diagnosed at a late stage, usually, on average, 20 years after the first initial insult. Diagnosis is rarely clinical related to the nature of nonspecific symptoms and requires imaging with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Conservative management focuses on the prevention of fractures and the progression of deformities. This includes bed rest, orthoses, and braces. These could be useful in elderly or frail patients who are not candidates for surgical treatment, or in minimally symptomatic patients, such as patients with spontaneous fusion leading to a stable spine. Symptomatic treatment is offered for autonomic dysfunction, such as anticholinergics for bladder control. Most patients require surgical treatment. Spinal fusion is achieved with open, minimally-open (MOA) or minimally-invasive (MIS) approaches. The gold standard is open circumferential fusion; data is lacking to determine the superiority of open or MIS approaches. Patients usually improve after surgery; however, the rarity of the condition makes it difficult to estimate outcomes. This is a review of the latest and seminal literature about the treatment and chronic management of Charcot spine. The review includes the background of the syndrome, clinical presentation, and diagnosis, and compares the different treatment options that are currently available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1759720X20979497DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7750571PMC
December 2020

Treatment and Management of Twelfth Rib Syndrome: A Best Practices Comprehensive Review.

Pain Physician 2021 Jan;24(1):E45-E50

Department of Anesthesiology, LSUHSC School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Department of Anesthesiology, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE; Department of Anesthesiology, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ; Valley Pain Consultants-Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ.

Background: Twelfth rib syndrome, or slipping of the 12th rib, is an often overlooked cause for chronic chest, back, flank, and abdominal pain from irritation of the 12th intercostal nerve. Diagnosis is clinical and follows the exclusion of other causes of pain. This syndrome is usually accompanied by long-suffering, consequent psychiatric comorbidities, and increased health care costs, which are secondary to the delayed diagnosis.

Objectives: This manuscript is a review of twelfth rib syndrome and its management options. The review provides etiology, pathophysiology, and epidemiology of twelfth rib syndrome. Additionally, diagnosis and current options for treatment and management are presented.

Study Design: This is a narrative review of twelfth rib syndrome.

Setting: A database review.

Methods: A PubMed search was conducted to ascertain seminal literature regarding twelfth rib syndrome.

Results: Conservative treatment is usually the first line, including local heat or ice packs, rest, and oral over-the-counter analgesics. Transcutaneous stimulation and 12th intercostal nerve cryotherapy have also been described with some success. Nerve blocks can additionally be tried and are usually effective in the immediate term; there is a paucity of evidence to suggest long-term efficacy. Surgical removal of all or part of the 12th rib and possibly the 11th rib, as well as the next line of therapy, may provide long-lasting relief of pain.

Limitations: Further large scale clinical studies are needed to assess the most effective management of twelfth rib syndrome.

Conclusions: Twelfth rib syndrome is usually diagnosed late and causes significant morbidity and suffering. The actual epidemiology is unclear given the difficulty of diagnosis. Nerve blocks and surgical rib resection appear to be effective in treating this syndrome, however, further evidence is required to properly evaluate them. Familiarity with this syndrome is crucial in reaching a prompter diagnosis.
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January 2021

Angiogenesis in endometrial carcinoma: Therapies and biomarkers, current options, and future perspectives.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 Mar 26;160(3):844-850. Epub 2020 Dec 26.

Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Health, New York, NY, United States of America. Electronic address:

Endometrial carcinoma is the most common gynecologic malignancy and the fourth most prevalent cancer in women in the modern world. Despite a relatively high chance of surgical cure, for patients with advanced or recurrent disease there are few therapeutic options. Angiogenesis has been extensively studied ever since vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was discovered in the 1980s. Several clinical trials of anti-angiogenic therapy in endometrial carcinoma have been conducted, with mixed results, and many researchers have tried to determine prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers. Recent trials, which shed new light on possible treatment biomarkers and efficacious combination therapies, are reviewed in this text. While we are still far from effectively tailoring anti-angiogenic treatment to each patient, these data have provided valuable insight and have put us on track for the discovery of novel opportunities for angiogenesis therapy in endometrial carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.12.016DOI Listing
March 2021

Icosapent Ethyl (Vascepa®) for the Treatment of Acute, Severe Pancreatitis.

Cureus 2020 Nov 18;12(11):e11551. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Portsmouth Anesthesia Associates, Portsmouth, USA.

Acute pancreatitis is the most common gastrointestinal pathology that warrants hospital admission, with an estimated incidence of 13-45/100,000 annually in the US. The overall mortality is low but is significantly increased in 15-25% of patients that develop severe disease, likely secondary to an increase in inflammation and an exaggerated response, sometimes referred to as a cytokine storm. Management is largely supportive, and no specific cure exists to hasten recovery. Icosapent Ethyl (IPE, Vascepa®) is an omega-3 fatty acid derivative that is indicated for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia and has been shown to improve mortality from cardiovascular causes, likely through an anti-inflammatory mechanism. We report here a case of very severe, abrupt acute alcoholic pancreatitis in a 31-year-old male, requiring intensive care unit admission, ventilation, and support with multiple vasoactive medications. Shortly after the initiation of IPE, the patient started to improve and ultimately made a complete recovery. His initially greatly elevated inflammatory markers downtrended quickly under IPE treatment and he followed with a remarkable clinical recovery. Several previous studies, such as the Patients With Persistent High Triglyceride Levels (≥ 200 mg/dL and < 500 mg/dL) Despite Statin Therapy (ANCHOR; NCT01047501) and the Multi-Center, PlAcebo-Controlled, Randomized, Double-BlINd, 12-week study with an open-label Extension (MARINE; NCT01047683), provided evidence of the anti-inflammatory activity of IPE. In our case, we provide the first evidence to support its use as a direct anti-inflammatory in severe disease. With the absence of direct therapy and the significant mortality from severe acute pancreatitis, IPE can be a breakthrough therapy. Its treatment is not limited to pancreatitis only, and it may also be beneficial in other cases of severe inflammation. Though anecdotal, this case provides evidence to support further study of IPE in states of exaggerated inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.11551DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7748593PMC
November 2020

Istradefylline to Treat Patients with Parkinson's Disease Experiencing "Off" Episodes: A Comprehensive Review.

Neurol Int 2020 Dec 8;12(3):109-129. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Anesthesiology, LSU Health Shreveport, Shreveport, LA 71103, USA.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder that leads to significant morbidity and disability. PD is caused by a loss of dopaminergic, cholinergic, serotonergic, and noradrenergic neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), and peripherally; the syndromic parkinsonism symptoms of movement disorder, gait disorder, rigidity and tremor are mostly driven by the loss of these neurons in the basal ganglia. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of patients taking levodopa, the standard of care treatment for PD, will begin to experience a decrease in effectiveness at varying times. These periods, referred to as "off episodes", are characterized by increased symptoms and have a detrimental effect on quality of life and disability. Istradefylline, a novel adenosine A2A receptor antagonist, is indicated as a treatment addition to levodopa/carbidopa in patients experiencing "off episodes". It promotes dopaminergic activity by antagonizing adenosine in the basal ganglia. This review will discuss istradefylline as a treatment for PD patients with off episodes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/neurolint12030017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768423PMC
December 2020

Treatment options for patients suffering from failed back surgery syndrome.

Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2020 ;52(5):440-441

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/ait.2020.101043DOI Listing
January 2020

A Comprehensive Review of Over the Counter Treatment for Chronic Low Back Pain.

Pain Ther 2020 Nov 4. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Valley Anesthesiology and Pain Consultants-Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

Purpose Of The Review: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a major contributor to societal disease burden and years lived with disability. Nonspecific low back pain (LBP) is attributed to physical and psychosocial factors, including lifestyle factors, obesity, and depression. Mechanical low back pain occurs related to repeated trauma to or overuse of the spine, intervertebral disks, and surrounding tissues. This causes disc herniation, vertebral compression fractures, lumbar spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, and lumbosacral muscle strain.

Recent Findings: A systematic review of relevant literature was conducted. CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, and two clinical trials registry databases up to 24 June 2015 were included in this review. Search terms included: low back pain, over the counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID), CLBP, ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, disk herniation, lumbar spondylosis, vertebral compression fractures, spondylolisthesis, and lumbosacral muscle strain. Over-the-counter analgesics are the most frequently used first-line medication for LBP, and current guidelines indicate that over-the-counter medications should be the first prescribed treatment for non-specific LBP. Current literature suggests that NSAIDs and acetaminophen as well as antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and opioids are effective treatments for CLBP. Recent randomized controlled trials also evaluate the benefit of buprenorphine, tramadol, and strong opioids such as oxycodone. This systematic review discusses current evidence pertaining to non-prescription treatment options for chronic low back pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40122-020-00209-wDOI Listing
November 2020

Icosapent Ethyl - A Successful Treatment for Symptomatic COVID-19 Infection.

Cureus 2020 Sep 2;12(9):e10211. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Portsmouth Anesthesia Associates, Portsmouth, USA.

COVID-19 is a fatal, universal pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has directly caused at least 95,235 deaths in the US by May 2020. It has a poor prognosis with a mortality rate as high as 21% in the general population at the height of the pandemic, a rate that is much higher in elderly patients, as well as those requiring intensive care unit (ICU) care. The role of inflammation in symptomatic COVID-19 is being studied, and it is hypothesized that hyper-inflammation is a causative factor in severe COVID-19 disease. Treatment options are limited and mostly rely on supportive care. Icosapent ethyl (IPE) is an Omega-3 fatty acid derivative that has been shown to significantly reduce cardiovascular mortality and is used as an adjunct to statin therapy. Though it has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory, it is not currently indicated for that purpose. Here, we describe, for the first time, the successful treatment of a COVID-19 patient with IPE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7532870PMC
September 2020

An Evidence-Based Review of Galcanezumab for the Treatment of Migraine.

Neurol Ther 2020 Dec 3;9(2):403-417. Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, Shreveport, LA, USA.

Purpose Of Review: This is a comprehensive review of the current literature on the usage of galcanezumab for migraine treatment. It reviews the biology, pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and conventional treatment of migraines, then compares the literature available for galcanezumab with historical treatment options.

Recent Findings: Migraine is a common headache disorder and constitutes a significant source of distress from both a personal and societal perspective. Conventional treatment includes abortive and preventive treatment. Treatment options are limited and may be only partially or minimally effective in some of the population. Recent evidence points to metabolic changes in the brain as possible causes of migraine, via reduced available energy or a spiking need for it, resulting in a relative insufficiency. This leads to trigeminocervical complex (TCC) activation and a headache episode, modulated by calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Galcanezumab (Emgality) is a monoclonal antibody targeting CGRP that is given in a monthly injection for the prevention of migraines. Its safety was previously shown in phase 1 and 2 trials, and recent phase 3 trials showed efficacy, with up to 50% reduction in monthly migraine days and improved functional capacity in migraineurs. Studies show that the drug is well tolerated and safe. Migraine headache is a common neurological syndrome that causes great pain and suffering. Treatment options today are limited. Galcanezumab does not prevent migraines, but it is effective in decreasing their frequency and length. It is also much better tolerated than the currently existing therapies. While it is unlikely to provide monotherapy for migraines, it is a novel therapy that may be added for cases of severe or frequent migraines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40120-020-00214-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7606392PMC
December 2020

Cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol 2020 Sep 15;34(3):617-631. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Fibromyalgia is a complex disease process that is as prevalent as it is poorly understood. Research into the pathophysiology is ongoing, and findings will likely assist in identifying new therapeutic options to augment those in existence today that are still insufficient for the care of a large population of patients. Recent evidence describes the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of fibromyalgia. This study provides a systematic, thorough review of the evidence alongside a review of the seminal data regarding the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and current treatment options. Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread chronic pain, fatigue, and depressive episodes without an organic diagnosis, which may be prevalent in up to 10% of the population and carries a significant cost in healthcare utilization, morbidity, a reduced quality of life, and productivity. It is frequently associated with psychiatric comorbidities. The diagnosis is clinical and usually prolonged, and diagnostic criteria continue to evolve. Some therapies have been previously described, including neuropathic medications, milnacipran, and antidepressants. Despite some level of efficacy, only physical exercise has strong evidence to support it. Cannabis has been used historically to treat different pain conditions since ancient times. Recent advances allowed for the isolation of the active substances in cannabis and the production of cannabinoid products that are nearly devoid of psychoactive influence and provide pain relief and alleviation of other symptoms. Many of these, as well as cannabis itself, are approved for use in chronic pain conditions. Evidence supporting cannabis in chronic pain conditions is plentiful; however, in fibromyalgia, they are mostly limited. Only a handful of randomized trials exists, and their objectivity has been questioned. However, many retrospective trials and patient surveys suggest the significant alleviation of pain, improvement in sleep, and abatement of associated symptoms. Evidence supporting the use of cannabis in chronic pain and specifically in fibromyalgia is being gathered as the use of cannabis increases with current global trends. While the current evidence is still limited, emerging data do suggest a positive effect of cannabis in fibromyalgia. Cannabis use is not without risks, including psychiatric, cognitive, and developmental as well as the risks of addiction. As such, clinical judgment is warranted to weigh these risks and prescribe to patients who are more likely to benefit from this treatment. Further research is required to define appropriate patient selection and treatment regimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpa.2020.08.010DOI Listing
September 2020

Minimally invasive treatment of lateral epicondylitis.

Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol 2020 Sep 8;34(3):583-602. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE, USA; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ, USA; Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, Department of Anesthesiology, Shreveport, LA, USA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

Lateral epicondylitis (LE), also known as tennis elbow, is the most common cause of elbow pain in adults, with approximately 1-3% of the general population being afflicted. Although the condition is usually self-limiting, pain can be a major hindrance, limiting daily activity and the work capacity of patients. As a result, many treatment options have become available with the aim to shorten the duration of the disease and increase the quality of life. Steroid injections, NSAIDs, topical creams, platelet-rich plasma, physical therapy, and kinesiotaping are considered conservative treatments, while surgical options are last-resort treatments reserved for refractory LE. In this review, we will provide a brief summary of LE and focus on addressing conservative and minimally invasive interventional options for the treatment of LE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpa.2020.08.004DOI Listing
September 2020

Alleviation of Chronic Low Back Pain due to Bilateral Traumatic L4 Pars Interarticularis Fractures Relieved With Steroid Injections.

Cureus 2020 Aug 17;12(8):e9821. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.

Chronic back pain affects 20% of the adult population in the United States and is a significant source of disability and healthcare expenditure. One of the most common causes of chronic back pain is spondylosis. These changes result from age-related degeneration of the lumbar spine. As a result of this degeneration, spondylolisthesis can develop. Spondylolysis is a fracture of the pars interarticularis. It affects younger patients and is more prevalent in adolescents and elite athletes. It can be a debilitating condition that may force athletes into retirement as well as impair them with chronic pain and disability. Traditional treatment options include conservative management such as medications, rest, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Surgery is reserved for patients who do not respond to conservative measures. Here we present the case of a 39-year-old mixed martial arts fighter with bilateral L4 pars interarticularis fractures and chronic low back pain. After failing conservative treatment options, this patient finally obtained significant relief with steroid injections at the level of the defect. The patient continues to do well with occasional injections and is able to maintain his mixed martial arts career. This case report provides evidence that injection therapy is a feasible alternative to surgery in patients who fail conservative therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.9821DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7495963PMC
August 2020

A Review of Patisiran (ONPATTRO®) for the Treatment of Polyneuropathy in People with Hereditary Transthyretin Amyloidosis.

Neurol Ther 2020 Dec 12;9(2):301-315. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Valley Anesthesiology and Pain Consultants-Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

Hereditary variant transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTRv) is a rare genetic defect that affects about 5000-10,000 people worldwide, causing amyloidosis secondary to misfolding of mutant transthyretin (TTR) protein fibrils. TTR mutations can cause protein deposits in many extracellular regions of organs, but those deposits in cardiac and axonal cells are the primary cause of this clinical syndrome. Treatment options are limited, but new drugs are being developed. Patisiran, a novel drug, is a liposomal siRNA against TTR that specifically targets this protein, reducing the accumulation of TTR in tissues, with subsequent improvement in both neuropathy and cardiac function. Patisiran is likely to serve as a prototype for the development of further intelligent drug solutions for use in targeted therapy. In this review we summarize the evidence currently available on the treatment of polyneuropathy in people with ATTRv with patisiran. We review the evidence on its efficacy, safety, and indications of use, citing novel and seminal papers on these subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40120-020-00208-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7606409PMC
December 2020