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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2012 Jan;51(1):8-13. English. Original Article.
Kim SH , Kim SC , Cho KH .
Department of Neurosurgery, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.

OBJECTIVE: This is prospective study of clinical outcomes of percutaneous plasma disc coagulation Therapy (PDCT) in patients with herniated lumbar disc disease (HLD) to evaluate the safety and efficacy in its clinical application and usefulness as a reliable alternative to microscopic discectomy. METHODS: Forty-six patients were enrolled in this study from April 2006 to June 2010. All patients had one-level HLD. Disc degeneration was graded on routine T2-weighted magnetic resonance Image (MRI) using the Pfirrmann's grading system and all index levels were grade 3 and grade 4. Indications for surgery were radiculopathy caused by disc protrusion with soft consistency. MRI was done at one month after the procedure in all patients to check post-PDCT change. The clinical outcomes were evaluated using Visual Analog Scales (VAS) score and MacNab's criteria. RESULTS: This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of our institution. The age of the study population ranged from 16 to 59 years with a mean age of 37.2 years. There were 29 males and 17 females in this study. The mean period of clinical follow-up was 21 months. The average preoperative VAS score for radiculopathy was 7.4+/-1.4, while the final follow-up VAS score was 1.4+/-0.7 (p<0.001). In MacNab's criteria, 41 patients (89.1%) had achieved favorable improvement (excellent and good) until later follow-up. There were one patient from infection and two patients who needed to convert to open discectomy. CONCLUSION: PDCT is a safe and efficient treatment modality in a selective patient with HLD.

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