Electrode alignment of transverse tripoles using a percutaneous triple-lead approach in spinal cord stimulation

V. Sankarasubramanian, Jan R. Buitenweg, J. Holsheimer, Petrus H. Veltink

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    The aim of this modeling study is to determine the influence of electrode alignment of transverse tripoles on the paresthesia coverage of the pain area in spinal cord stimulation, using a percutaneous triple-lead approach. Transverse tripoles, comprising a central cathode and two lateral anodes, were modeled on the low-thoracic vertebral region (T10-T12) using percutaneous triple-lead configurations, with the center lead on the spinal cord midline. The triple leads were oriented both aligned and staggered. In the staggered configuration, the anodes were offset either caudally (caudally staggered) or rostrally (rostrally staggered) with respect to the midline cathode. The transverse tripolar field steering with the aligned and staggered configurations enabled the estimation of dorsal column fiber thresholds (IDC) and dorsal root fiber thresholds (IDR) at various anodal current ratios. I DC and IDR were considerably higher for the aligned transverse tripoles as compared to the staggered transverse tripoles. The aligned transverse tripoles facilitated deeper penetration into the medial dorsal columns (DCs). The staggered transverse tripoles always enabled broad and bilateral DC activation, at the expense of mediolateral steerability. The largest DC recruited area was obtained with the rostrally staggered transverse tripole. Transverse tripolar geometries, using percutaneous leads, allow for selective targeting of either medial or lateral DC fibers, if and only if the transverse tripole is aligned. Steering of anodal currents between the lateral leads of the staggered transverse tripoles cannot target medially confined populations of DC fibers in the spinal cord. An aligned transverse tripolar configuration is strongly recommended, because of its ability to provide more post-operative flexibility than other configurations
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)016010
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of neural engineering
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • BSS-Central mechanisms underlying chronic pain
    • Mediolateral
    • Modeling studies
    • Current ratios
    • Spinal cords
    • IR-77494
    • Dorsal columns
    • Spinal cord stimulation
    • EWI-21396
    • METIS-285068
    • Staggered configuration

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