A Systematic Literature Review of Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurostimulation for the Treatment of Pain

Pain Med. 2020 Aug 1;21(8):1581-1589. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnaa005.


Objective: To conduct a systematic literature review of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation for pain.

Design: Grade the evidence for DRG stimulation.

Methods: An international, interdisciplinary work group conducted a literature search for DRG stimulation. Abstracts were reviewed to select studies for grading. General inclusion criteria were prospective trials (randomized controlled trials and observational studies) that were not part of a larger or previously reported group. Excluded studies were retrospective, too small, or existed only as abstracts. Studies were graded using the modified Interventional Pain Management Techniques-Quality Appraisal of Reliability and Risk of Bias Assessment, the Cochrane Collaborations Risk of Bias assessment, and the US Preventative Services Task Force level-of-evidence criteria.

Results: DRG stimulation has Level II evidence (moderate) based upon one high-quality pivotal randomized controlled trial and two lower-quality studies.

Conclusions: Moderate-level evidence supports DRG stimulation for treating chronic focal neuropathic pain and complex regional pain syndrome.

Keywords: Chronic Pain; Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation; Pain Management; Systematic Review.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Ganglia, Spinal*
  • Humans
  • Neuralgia* / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies