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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 66

of 'Cervicogenic headache'

Pulsed radiofrequency therapy versus greater occipital nerve block in the management of refractory cervicogenic headache - a pilot study.
Gabrhelík T, Michálek P, Adamus M
Prague Med Rep. 2011;112(4):279-87.
The aim of this pilot study was to compare the efficacy of pulsed radiofrequency to the greater occipital nerve versus a greater occipital nerve block with a mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid in the management of refractory cervicogenic headache. We enrolled 30 patients suffering from refractory cervicogenic headache. Patients were randomly allocated into two groups of fifteen. A greater occipital nerve block with steroid was utilised in group A, while a pulsed radiofrequency treatment was employed in group B. Success of both procedures was evaluated by comparing pre and post intervention Visual Analogue Scale of pain, Medication Quantification Scale - III. and Global Perceived Effect at three and 9 months after the procedures. At three months post therapy a significant decrease in Visual Analogue Scale (p<0.001) was identified (3.2 points in group A, 3.3 points in group B respectively). In group B pain remained reduced even after 9 months (p<0.001) when compared to pre treatment scores. The consumption of analgesic medication was reduced significantly in both groups at three months (p<0.001) and 9 months (p<0.01), respectively. No serious complication was noted. Greater occipital nerve block is a safe, efficient technique in the management of cervicogenic headaches. Despite the lack of high quality scientific evidence (level III or IV) in the literature, we have extensive experience with steroid application and pulsed radiofrequency to the greater occipital nerve and report the beneficial results in our study.
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, PalackýUniversity in Olomouc and University Hospital Olomouc, Czech Republic. gabrhelikt@post.cz