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.

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...

Rez?m System (NxThera Inc.) for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

March 26, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement or growth of the prostate that affects approximately 8 million men in the United States, including 30% of men older than 50 years of age and nearly 70% of men older than 70 years of age. The enlarged prostate restricts the urethra and applies pressure on the base of the bladder. This restriction of the urethra can result in urination difficulties. Technology Description: The Rez?m System is a minimally invasive, transurethral treatment for BPH that utilizes convective radiofrequency water vapor energy to ablate the hyperplastic tissue. The Rez?m System consists of a...