Initial experience of CT-guided pulsed radiofrequency ablation of the pudendal nerve for chronic recalcitrant pelvic pain

M. D. Collard, Yin Xi, A. A. Patel, Kelly M Scott, Stephanie C Jones, Avneesh Chhabra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


AIM: To evaluate initial experience with computed tomography (CT)-guided pulsed radiofrequency ablation (pRFA) of the pudendal nerve in cases of recalcitrant neuropathic pelvic pain. Endpoints include technical feasibility, safety, and efficacy of therapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten patients who underwent pRFA ablation for neuropathic pudendal nerve pain during the trial period were followed for response to treatment for 6 months. Each patient was treated with pRFA under CT-guidance with concurrent perineural injection of anaesthetic and/or corticosteroid. Pain scores were then measured using a numeric rating scale at fixed intervals up to 6 months. RESULTS: All procedures were considered technically successful with no immediate complications. pRFA demonstrated improved duration of pain improvement compared to the most recent perineural injection (p=0.0195), but not compared to the initial injection (p=0.64). Reported pain scores were lower with pRFA than with both the first and most recent injection but this did not reach statistical significance (p=0.1094 and p=0.7539, respectively). CONCLUSION: Overall, pRFA of the pudendal nerve using CT-guidance can be a safe and effective therapy. This technique provides direct visualisation of the nerve to maximise safety and efficacy while offering a novel form of therapy for patients with chronic, recalcitrant pelvic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Radiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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