Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation treatment of sickle cell pain crises.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) has been used in a variety of acute and chronic painful conditions, but has not been studied in sickle cell pain crises. We compared TENS versus placebo in a randomized, double-blind, cross-over study involving 60 trials in 4 crisis severity categories. TENS electrodes were applied to the area of severest pain and patients' pain ratings and medication usage were evaluated over a 4-hour period. Pain ratings and analgesic requirements at 1 and 4 h from onset of study were similar in the TENS and placebo groups. Patients assessments of overall treatment efficacy indicated that TENS was more frequently helpful, but there was a substantial placebo effect. Although the value of TENS in this condition was not established in this study, further trials, using varied stimulation parameters, are warranted.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wang, WC; George, SL; Wilimas, JA

Published Date

  • 1988

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 80 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 99 - 102

PubMed ID

  • 3138879

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0001-5792

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1159/000205612


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland