Model of a Pulsed Radiofrequency Technique for Pain Relief

E. Ewertowska [1], M. Trujillo [2], E. Berjano [1],
[1] Department of Electronic Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
[2] Instituto Universitario de Matemática Pura y Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain

Radiofrequency ablation is one of the common methods used to treat pain, movement or mood disorders. It bases on the electromagnetic energy provided to the selected tissue when an alternating current is applied. The resistive heating produced in this process provokes temperature rise in target tissue and generates lesion for intended therapeutic effects. However, in case when no tissue damage is expected, pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) technique is used. This paper focuses on modeling the clinically approved protocols for pulsed radiofrequency in order to support the experimental results and possibly enhance the method for pain relief. We compared two protocols: A standard pulse protocol and a modified standard pulse, which was proposed as a less-damaging alternative. The model was solved as a coupled thermo-electric problem expressed by the bioheat equation that coupled current flow and resistive heating phenomena.