Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 265-274

Post-herpetic neuralgia: A systematic review of current interventional pain management strategies

1 Department of Pain Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Noida, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
3 Department of Anaesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
4 D​irector & Senior Consultant Dermatologist, SKINNOCENCE: The Skin Clinic, Gurgaon, India

Correspondence Address:
Bhavna Gupta
Assistant Professor, Department of anesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_45_20

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Background: Post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is usually a constant or intermittent burning, stabbing, or sharp shooting pain with hyperalgesia or allodynia, persisting beyond the healing of herpetic skin lesions. This review was carried out in concordance to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We used PICOS (Population, Intervention, Control, and Outcome Study) design for inclusion of potential studies into this review. Online literature available in PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase was searched for studies from January 1995 till March 2020, which evaluated interventional treatments in PHN by an independent reviewer, using the relevant medical subject heading (MeSH) terms. We analyzed the following outcome parameters with regard to each intervention—pain status at predefined fixed intervals after the intervention, quality of sleep using any of the reported questionnaires, analgesic consumption, functional evaluation, and quality of life assessment after the intervention. Conclusion: Interventional pain management options provide effective and long-lasting pain relief to patients not responding to medical management. The choice of intervention will depend on the region involved, cost, and invasiveness. Simple procedures such as intercostal nerve blocks/neurolysis, stellate ganglion blocks, paravertebral neurolysis, epidural steroid injections, and dorsal root ganglion–radiofrequency ablation are effective interventions, and if they fail, spinal cord stimulators could be effective in the hands of experienced pain physicians.

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