Objective. To compare the technical performance of different percutaneous lead types for spinal cord stimulation. Methods. Using the UT-SCS software (University of Twente's spinal cord stimulation), lead models having similar characteristics such as the 3487A PISCES-Quad (PQ), 3887 PISCES-Quad Compact (PC), 3888 PISCES-Quad Plus (PP) (Medtronic Inc., Minneapolis, MN), and the AB SC2108 (AB) (Advanced Bionics Corp., Valencia, CA) were simulated in monopolar and tripolar (guarded cathode) combinations on a single lead, placed just outside the dorsal dura mater and both centered on the spinal cord midline, and at 1 mm lateral. The influence of displacing a lead dorsally in the epidural fat was examined as well. Finally, dual leads both aligned and offset were modeled. Several parameters were calculated to allow a quantitative comparison of the performances. Results. When programmed as a guarded cathode, the AB lead recruits nerve fibers in an similar to 25% larger dorsal column area than the PQ. However, the AB has an similar to 160% higher energy consumption. The performance of the PC is between the AB and PQ, whereas the PP is suitable only for dorsal root stimulation. Displacing a single lead off midline or dorsally decreases its ability to recruit fibers in the dorsal columns. Similarly, dual lead combinations are less capable when compared to single lead centered on the spinal cord midline just outside the dura mater. Conclusions. Complex pain syndromes are treated best with lead having a small contact spacing, being programmed as a tripole (guarded cathode) and centered on the spinal cord midline just outside the dura mater. This is because dorsal column fiber recruitment is more extensive than with any other combinations, including dual leads. Improved recruitment of dorsal column fibers is accompanied by increased energy consumption.
- Spinal cord stimulation
- paresthesia coverage
- percutaneous lead
- Energy consumption
- BSS-Biomechatronics and rehabilitation technology