Author(s): Choi S, Choi HJ, Cheong Y, Lim YJ, Park HK
Abstract Share this page
Abstract This study investigated the reversible effects of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) treatment at 42 °C on the ultrastructural and biological changes in nerve and collagen fibers in the progression of neuropathic pain after rat sciatic nerve injury. Assessments of morphological changes in the extracellular matrices by atomic force microscopy and hematoxylin-eosin, Masson's trichrome and picrosirius-red staining as well as the expressions of two fibril-forming collagens, types-I and -III, and two inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α and IL-6, were evaluated on day 30 after RF exposure. There were four groups for different RF thermal treatments: no treatment, no current, PRF, and continuous RF (CRF). An RF procedure similar to that used in human clinical trials was used in this study. The CRF treatment at 82 °C led to neural and collagen damage by the permanent blockage of sensory nociceptors. The PRF treatment led to excellent performance and high expandability compared to CRF, with effects including slight damage and swelling of myelinated axons, a slightly decreased amount of collagen fibers, swelling of collagen fibril diameters, decreased immunoreactivity of collagen types-I and -III, presence of newly synthesized collagen, and recovery of inflammatory protein immunoreactivity. These evidence-based findings suggest that PRF-based pain relief is responsible for the temporary blockage of nerve signals as well as the preferential destruction of pain-related principal sensory fibers like the Aδ and C fibers. This suggestion can be supported by the interaction between the PRF-induced electromagnetic field and cell membranes; therefore, PRF treatment provides pain relief while allowing retention of some tactile sensation.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy