Health Technology Brief

supporting sound, evidence-based decision making

HT Briefs are concise technology assessment reports that provide an overall evaluation of the potential clinical and economic impact of new technologies
that are in the early stages of dissemination or of existing technologies that are being used for new applications.

View a sampling of our HT Briefs.

iStent inject Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent (Glaukos Corp.) in Combination with Cataract Surgery for Management of Open-Angle Glaucoma

June 28, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve characterized by loss of retinal ganglion cells; remodeling of the lamina cribrosa; structural changes to the nerve; elevated intraocular pressure (IOP); and progressive, irreversible loss of vision leading to blindness. Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is associated with partial blockage of the flow of aqueous humor. Technology Description: The iStent inject Trabecular Micro-Bypass System (model G2-M-IS; Glaukos Corp.) is a second-generation iStent device approved for use in conjunction with cataract surgery for the reduction of IOP in adult patients with mild-to-moderate primary OAG (POAG). The iStent inject consists of 2 heparin-coated, titanium, multidirectional...

Pulsed Radiofrequency Application to the Dorsal Root Ganglion for Treatment of Lumbosacral Radicular Pain

May 16, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Lumbosacral radicular pain is generally characterized by pain radiating into 1 or more dermatomes and may be caused by nerve root irritation, inflammation, or compression. Lumbosacral radiculopathy typically refers to sensory or motor loss and can involve a continuum of radicular pain. Both radicular pain and radiculopathy often occur concurrently. Complete or partial resolution occurs within 12 weeks of pain onset in approximately 60% of patients, while 30% of patients experience ongoing pain at least 3 months after onset. Technology Description: A dorsal root ganglion (DRG) is a cluster of nerve cell bodies in the posterior roots of spinal...

Pulsed Radiofrequency Application to the Dorsal Root Ganglion for Treatment of Cervical Radicular Pain

May 3, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Cervical radicular pain may be caused by cervical degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and foraminal stenosis. Symptoms include pain with upper extremity radiation, paresthesias in the arm or hand in conjunction with diminished muscle tendon reflexes, sensory loss, or motor weakness. Symptoms most often follow the distribution pattern of a specific nerve root. Technology Description: A dorsal root ganglion (DRG) is a cluster of nerve cell bodies in the posterior roots of spinal nerves. DRG are known to participate in the pain signaling process. Pain signals coming from the periphery traverse the DRG to the spinal cord...

Magnetic Resonance–Guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) Unilateral Thalamotomy for Essential Tremor

April 10, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Essential tremor (ET) is a neurological disorder of involuntary rhythmic tremors. Although ET is considered a benign disease, disabling tremors affect activities of daily living and workplace productivity and are a source of psychological distress and embarrassment. Medication-resistant ET occurs in 30% to 50% of patients with ET. While approximately 50% of patients with ET achieve symptom reduction; complete resolution of tremor symptoms is rare. Technology Description: Transcranial magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) thalamotomy is an incisionless therapy option that does not use ionizing radiation for thermal ablation of a part of the thalamus. Controversy: Invasive alternatives to MRgFUS have...

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (mild; Vertos Medical Inc.) Device Kit for Treatment of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

March 26, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) affects more than 200,000 adults in the United States and is a source of substantial pain and disability. Major contributors to LSS include degenerative intervertebral discs and bone structures, as well as hypertrophy of the ligamentum flavum. Technology Description: The mild device kit (Vertos Medical Inc.) is a sterile, single-use system of surgical instruments. The mild procedure is a minimally invasive, image-guided, posterior spinal procedure that increases the dimensions of the spinal canal by achieving nerve decompression via the debulking of the hypertrophied ligamentum flavum or small amounts of the lamina. The mild procedure is...