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Safety of Microstimulator During Radiation Therapy - A Preliminary Study on Head and Neck Cancer Patients | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2155-9619

Journal of Nuclear Medicine & Radiation Therapy
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Research Article

Safety of Microstimulator During Radiation Therapy - A Preliminary Study on Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Uttam K. Sinha1*, Brenda Villegas1, C. Kuo2, Frances J. Richmond2, Rizwan Masood1, Nora I. Nelson3 and Gerald E. Loeb3

1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,Keck School of Medicine,

2Regulatory Science Program, School of Pharmacy,

3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Uttam K. Sinha, MS, MD, FACS
Medical Director, Head and Neck Surgery
Associate Dean, Surgical Simulation Watt Chair
Head and Neck Cancer Research Keck Medical Center
University of Southern California 1540 Alcazar St
Room 204M, Los Angeles, California 90601, USA
Tel: 323 442.5790
Fax: 323 442.5820
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: July 22, 2014; Accepted date: October 30, 2014; Published date: November 03, 2014

Citation: K. Sinha U, Villegas B, C. Kuo, J. Richmond F, Masood R, et al. (2014) Safety of Microstimulator During Radiation Therapy- A Preliminary Study on Head and Neck Cancer Patients. J Nucl Med Radiat Ther 5:197. doi: 10.4172/2155-9619.1000197

Copyright: © 2014 K. Sinha U, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objectives: To determine the safety and performance of miniature neuromuscular stimulator called MicroStimulator (MS) during radiation therapy (RT) of head and neck cancer (HNC).
Study Design: Pilot study
Methods: Four patients who underwent modified radical neck dissection for HNC received MS implants. The implant was placed 2-3 mm above and parallel to the hypoglossal nerve. All patients had tracheotomy and gastric tubes placed during surgery. Stimulation thresholds were obtained in three patients and electrical exercise programs were initiated in two patients. One patient completed the study, started RT and stimulation of the MS 3-4 weeks after surgery. The implant was energized and controlled by a radio frequency magnetic field from an external coil placed near the implant. Patients underwent stimulation of the MS one hour per day using intermittent trains of stimuli generating fused, maximal contractions.
Results: No postoperative or implant specific complication was noted. All patients required and tolerated stimulation without pain or discomfort. Visible contraction of muscles of swallowing was noted in both patients during stimulation indicating that MS remained functional during RT. All patients used the device at home and maintained their oral feeding and weight. None had aspiration pneumonia.
Conclusions: MS appears to be a safe device for stimulation of swallowing muscles during MS for HNC. Implant performance is not affected by RT. It effectively stimulates the nerves to induce robust contraction of muscles of swallowing and laryngeal elevation. High patient compliance was achieved with this implant.


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