Pulsed-radiofrequency neuromodulation (PRF) is a pain management technique that involves placing a needle electrode near nerves and generating electrical current pulses in order to modulate the transduction of somatosensory information through those nerves. This technique evolved from a similar radiofrequency (RF) procedure in which constant current is distributed to a nerve or neural structure. RF interrupts nerve conduction and prevents somatosensory information from reaching the brain. In the case of continuous radiofrequency, however, the destructive lesion can cause further complications and unwanted side effects. According to research, PRF, unlike RF, is non-destructive yet still induces analgesia and consequently represents a more advantageous technique. Only a handful of previous studies have attempted to determine the neural effects of PRF. The current study seeks to develop an animal model of PRF using the spared nerve injury model (SNI) and, through molecular analysis of neurological tissues harvested from rats, examines mechanisms by which PRF causes analgesia. The study found that there was a significant difference between the SNI lesion model groups and the groups that did not receive the SNI lesion model. However, for the rats with SNI lesions, the analgesic effects of PRF appear to be inconclusive.
Willett, Alex, "Pulsed Radiofrequency Neuromodulation of Peripheral Nerve Injury" (2011). Honors Projects. 145.