Spinal cord stimulators and radiotherapy: First case report and practice guidelines Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Abstract Spinal cord stimulators (SCS) are a well-recognised treatment modality in the management of a number of chronic neuropathic pain conditions, particularly failed back syndrome and radiculopathies. The implantable pulse generator (IPG) component of the SCS is designed and operates in a similar fashion to that of a cardiac pacemaker. The IPG consists of an electrical generator, lithium battery, transmitter/receiver and a minicomputer. When stimulated, it generates pulsed electrical signals which stimulate the dorsal columns of the spinal cord, thus alleviating pain. Analogous to a cardiac pacemaker, it can be potentially damaged by ionising radiation from a linear accelerator, in patients undergoing radiotherapy. Herein we report our clinical management of the first reported case of a patient requiring adjuvant breast radiotherapy who had a SCS in situ. We also provide useful practical recommendations on the management of this scenario within a radiation oncology department.


  • Walsh, Lorraine
  • Guha, Daipayan
  • Purdie, Thomas G
  • Bedard, Philippe
  • Easson, Alexandra
  • Liu, Fei-Fei
  • Hodaie, Mojgan

publication date

  • December 2011

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