Richard Rauck

Carolinas Pain Institute, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (127)457.8 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Interventional spine and pain procedures cover a far broader spectrum than those for regional anesthesia, reflecting diverse targets and goals. When surveyed, interventional pain and spine physicians attending the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) 11th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting exhorted that existing ASRA guidelines for regional anesthesia in patients on antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications were insufficient for their needs. Those surveyed agreed that procedure-specific and patient-specific factors necessitated separate guidelines for pain and spine procedures.In response, ASRA formed a guidelines committee. After preliminary review of published complication reports and studies, committee members stratified interventional spine and pain procedures according to potential bleeding risk as low-, intermediate-, and high-risk procedures. The ASRA guidelines were deemed largely appropriate for the low- and intermediate-risk categories, but it was agreed that the high-risk targets required an intensive look at issues specific to patient safety and optimal outcomes in pain medicine.The latest evidence was sought through extensive database search strategies and the recommendations were evidence-based when available and pharmacology-driven otherwise. We could not provide strength and grading of these recommendations as there are not enough well-designed large studies concerning interventional pain procedures to support such grading. Although the guidelines could not always be based on randomized studies or on large numbers of patients from pooled databases, it is hoped that they will provide sound recommendations and the evidentiary basis for such recommendations.
    Regional anesthesia and pain medicine 05/2015; 40(3):182-212. DOI:10.1097/AAP.0000000000000223 · 2.12 Impact Factor
  • Richard L Rauck
    Pain Medicine 02/2015; 16(2):404-406. DOI:10.1111/pme.12656 · 2.24 Impact Factor
  • Richard L Rauck, James North, James C Eisenach
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic pain may be accompanied by hyperalgesia and allodynia, and analgesic interventions may reduce these hypersensitivity phenomena. Preclinical data suggest that intrathecal clonidine and adenosine reduce hypersensitivity, but only clonidine reduces pain; therefore, we tested the effects of these interventions in patients with chronic pain. Twenty-two subjects with pain and hyperalgesia in a lower extremity from complex regional pain syndrome were recruited in a double-blind crossover study to receive intrathecal clonidine, 100 μg, or adenosine, 2 mg. Primary outcome measure was proportion with ≥30% reduction in pain 2 hours after injection, and secondary measures were pain report, areas of hypersensitivity, and temporal summation to heat stimuli. Treatments did not differ in the primary outcome measure (10 met success criterion after clonidine administration and 5 after adenosine administration), although they did differ in pain scores over time, with clonidine having a 3-fold greater effect (P = 0.014). Both drugs similarly reduced areas of hyperalgesia and allodynia by approximately 30% and also inhibited temporal summation. The percentage change in pain report did not correlate with the percentage change in areas of hyperalgesia (P = 0.09, r = 0.08) or allodynia (P = 0.24, r = 0.24) after drug treatment. Both intrathecal clonidine and adenosine acutely inhibit experimentally induced and clinical hypersensitivity in patients with chronic regional pain syndrome. Although these drugs do not differ in analgesia by the primary outcome measure, their difference in effect on pain scores over time and lack of correlation between effect on pain and hypersensitivity suggest that analgesia does not parallel antihyperalgesia with these treatments.
    Pain 01/2015; 156(1):88-95. DOI:10.1016/j.pain.0000000000000007 · 5.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IntroductionDiscogenic low back pain (LBP) affects a considerable number of patients suffering from chronic LBP. Recently, a growing interest has emerged in minimally invasive treatment options for discogenic LBP. Intradiscal biacuplasty (IDB), which uses cooled radiofrequency technology to ablate nociceptors in the posterior aspect of the intervertebral disc, is one such option. We previously presented 6-month results of a randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled study. Now, we present the unblinded, 12-month follow-up data for treatment patients and 6-month data for cross-over subjects from the original sham group.Methods Physical function, pain relief, and disability were assessed using the Short Form-36, numerical rating scale, and Oswestry Disability Index, respectively. Subjects were unblinded at 6 months, and those initially randomized to sham procedure were given the option to cross over to IDB.ResultsTwenty-two out of 27 subjects in the original active treatment group were followed until 12 months and had clinically significant improvements in physical function (Δ = 22) and pain (Δ = −2.9). Out of 30 subjects originally in the sham group, 24 chose to cross over, and 20 cross-over patients completed follow-up at 6 months. In cross-over patients, improvements in physical function and pain did not differ statistically from those of patients originally randomized to IDB treatment. No complications or adverse events related to the procedure were reported.Conclusions Clinically significant improvements after IDB initially reported at 6 months were maintained at 9 and 12 months. The cross-over subjects had similar improvement in all outcome measures at all observed time points.
    Pain Medicine 11/2014; 16(3). DOI:10.1111/pme.12595 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a potentially debilitating chronic pain syndrome with a poorly understood but likely neuroimmune/multifactorial pathophysiology associated with axonal injury. Based on the potential contribution of pro-inflammatory cytokines to CRPS pathogenesis and prior research with thalidomide, we investigated lenalidomide, a thalidomide derivative, for CRPS treatment. We conducted a phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy of oral lenalidomide 10 mg once daily in consenting patients with unilateral or bilateral CRPS type 1. The study comprised 12 weeks of treatment followed by a long-term extension. The primary efficacy outcome was reduced pain in the index limb, defined as ≥30% improvement from baseline using an 11-point numerical rating scale. One hundred eighty-four subjects enrolled. The primary endpoint was not met because equal proportions of treated (16.1%) and control (16.1%) subjects achieved the outcome; however, lenalidomide was well tolerated with no evidence of neuropathy or major adverse effects. This study is the largest, controlled, blinded, clinical trial in subjects with chronic CRPS using the Budapest research criteria. It demonstrates the feasibility of conducting high-quality clinical trials in CRPS type 1 and provides considerations for designing future trials. Perspective This article reports an adequately powered, controlled clinical trial in subjects with CRPS. Both treatment and placebo were equally effective, but the study demonstrated that lenalidomide treatment is feasible in this population. The study provides examples to consider in designing future CRPS trials.
    Journal of Pain 10/2014; 15(12). DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2014.09.013 · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Neuromodulation Appropriateness Consensus Committee (NACC) of the International Neuromodulation Society (INS) evaluated evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of neurostimulation to treat chronic pain, chronic critical limb ischemia, and refractory angina and recommended appropriate clinical applications.
    Neuromodulation 08/2014; 17(6):515-550. DOI:10.1111/ner.12208 · 1.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the relationship between the dose of fentanyl sublingual spray needed to control breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP) and the dose of around-the-clock (ATC) opioid used to control background pain.
    Journal of opioid management 07/2014; 10(4):241-248. DOI:10.5055/jom.2014.0212
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP) is associated with decreased satisfaction with around-the-clock opioid therapy. This analysis examined patient satisfaction with fentanyl sublingual spray for BTCP during the open-label titration period of a randomized, placebo-controlled study.Methods Opioid-tolerant patients with 1 to 4 daily BTCP episodes were included. During a 26-day, open-label titration phase, a successful dose (100 to 1600 mcg) of fentanyl sublingual spray was established that provided effective analgesia for 2 consecutive BTCP episodes with tolerable side effects. The Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM) was administered at baseline to assess satisfaction with previous BTCP medication and at the end of the titration to assess satisfaction with fentanyl sublingual spray.ResultsOf 130 enrolled patients, 115 (88.5%) had a TSQM measure at baseline and at the end of their titration period. Scores on all 4 TSQM domains increased from baseline to end of the titration, with mean (standard error [SE]) improvements of 22.3 (2.3) for effectiveness, 7.7 (3.2) for side effects, 6.8 (2.2) for convenience, and 12.9 (2.8) for global satisfaction (P < 0.05 for all). Satisfaction with symptom relief (26.1% to 77.4%) and onset of action (21.7% to 82.6%) also improved from baseline to end of titration. At least one adverse event (AE) was reported by 78 patients (60.0%). The most common AEs considered possibly or probably related to study medication were dizziness, somnolence, and nausea (n = 10 [7.7%] each).DiscussionThese data indicate markedly improved satisfaction among patients receiving fentanyl sublingual spray relative to previous BTCP medications.
    Pain Practice 07/2014; DOI:10.1111/papr.12225 · 2.18 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Pain 04/2014; 15(4):S72. DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2014.01.296 · 4.22 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Pain 04/2014; 15(4):S67. DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2014.01.277 · 4.22 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Pain 04/2014; 15(4):S67. DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2014.01.276 · 4.22 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Pain 04/2014; 15(4):S74. DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2014.01.304 · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A single-agent, extended-release formulation of hydrocodone (HC) has been developed for treatment of chronic moderate-to-severe pain. This study was designed to examine the safety and efficacy of HC extended release in opioid-experienced adults with moderate-to-severe chronic low back pain (CLBP). This multicenter, enriched enrollment, randomized withdrawal study comprised an open-label conversion/titration phase (≤6 weeks) followed by placebo-controlled, double-blind treatment (12 weeks). During the conversion/titration phase, subjects (N = 510) converted from their current opioid and were titrated to a stabilized dose of HC extended release (20-100 mg every 12 hours). During treatment, subjects (N = 151 per group) received HC extended release or placebo; rescue medication was permitted. The primary efficacy end point was mean change in average pain intensity from baseline to day 85. Response rates (30% pain improvement) and satisfaction (Subject Global Assessment of Medication) were assessed. Demographic and baseline characteristics were similar between groups. Mean ± SD change in average pain intensity score from baseline to day 85 was significantly lower in the HC extended-release treatment group vs placebo (0.48 ± 1.56 vs 0.96 ± 1.55; P = 0.008). Significantly more responders were in the treatment group (68% vs 31%; P < 0.001). Mean Subject Global Assessment of Medication scores increased significantly (0.8 ± 1.3 vs 0.0 ± 1.4; P < 0.0001), indicating greater satisfaction with HC extended release. The adverse event profile was consistent with other opioids. Extended-release HC is well tolerated and effective, without acetaminophen-associated risks of liver toxicity, for treatment of CLBP.
    Pain Medicine 02/2014; 15(6). DOI:10.1111/pme.12377 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to identify best practices and provide guidance to clinicians to ensure safety and optimize intrathecal drug delivery for chronic intractable pain. Twelve experienced pain medicine practitioners-eight anesthesiologists, one neurosurgeon, one physiatrist, one clinical psychologist, and one advanced practice registered nurse-from the United States, Australia, and Europe gathered to identify and publish consensus on best practices in three areas related to safe intrathecal therapy for pain: safety and monitoring, patient and device management, and patient selection and trialing. Intrathecal drug delivery is a valuable alternative drug delivery system for many patients with severe chronic or end-of-life pain. While device-related complications (mostly with catheters) and surgical-site infections can occur, the main therapy-related safety issues associated with intrathecal drug delivery arise primarily with inadequate patient monitoring (e.g., respiratory depression), inflammatory mass (e.g., high doses and concentrations of opioids), wound healing, dosing errors (e.g., medication concentration and pump programming), pump fills or refills (e.g., pocket fills), and interaction with concomitant systemic medications (e.g., opioids and benzodiazepines). Many of the reported adverse events and complications of intrathecal drug delivery can be prevented by adequate clinician training, implementation of best practices, and experience. In adopting the therapy, patients must be apprised of its risks and benefits. Physicians and patients must partner to achieve both safety and effectiveness.
    Neuromodulation 01/2014; 17(4). DOI:10.1111/ner.12146 · 1.79 Impact Factor
  • Leonardo Kapural, Richard L Rauck
    The Clinical journal of pain 01/2014; 30(1):92. DOI:10.1097/AJP.0b013e318292df88 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the long-term safety, tolerability, and effectiveness of single-entity extended-release hydrocodone in opioid-experienced subjects with moderate to severe chronic pain not receiving adequate pain relief or experiencing intolerable side effects from their current opioid. This multicenter, open-label study started with a conversion/titration phase (≤6 weeks) where subjects (n=638) were converted to individualized doses (range 20-300 mg) of extended-release hydrocodone dosed every 12 hours, followed by a 48-week maintenance phase (n=424). The primary objective (safety and tolerability) and the secondary objective (long-term efficacy as measured by change in average pain score; 0= no pain, 10= worst imaginable pain) were monitored throughout the study. Subjects were treated for a range of chronic pain etiologies, including osteoarthritis, low back pain, and neuropathic and musculoskeletal conditions. The mean hydrocodone equivalent dose at screening was 68.9±62.2 mg/day and increased to 139.5±81.7 mg/day at the start of the maintenance phase. Unlimited dose adjustments were permitted at the investigator's discretion during the maintenance phase, reflecting typical clinical practice. No unexpected safety issues were reported. Common adverse events during the conversion/titration and maintenance phases, respectively, were constipation (11.3% and 12.5%), nausea (10.7% and 9.9%), vomiting (4.1% and 9.7%), and somnolence (7.7% and 4.2%). Four deaths occurred during the study; all were considered unrelated to treatment. One subject died 13 months after the study ended. From the start to end of the conversion/titration phase, 84% of subjects had a clinically meaningful improvement in average pain score (≥30% improvement), and the mean average pain scores remained stable through the maintenance phase. This single-entity, extended-release formulation of hydrocodone was generally safe, well tolerated, and effective in reducing chronic pain for 48 weeks. This formulation provides a new option for patients experiencing chronic pain, especially those who are taking immediate-release hydrocodone and have concerns about liver toxicity due to acetaminophen.
    Journal of Pain Research 01/2014; 7:669-678. DOI:10.2147/JPR.S71536
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    Richard L Rauck
    Pain Practice 11/2013; DOI:10.1111/papr.12153 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oral gabapentin is approved as an anticonvulsant medication and to treat postherpetic neuralgia. Its nonopioid properties and presumed spinal site of analgesic action made the study on intrathecal gabapentin attractive to establish the minimum effective dose for a later, pivotal trial. The authors examined the safety and efficacy of intrathecal gabapentin in a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial in a heterogeneous cohort of candidates with chronic pain for intrathecal drug therapy. Patients (N = 170) were randomized to receive continuous intrathecal gabapentin (0 [placebo], 1, 6, or 30 mg/day) during 22 days of blinded treatment after implantation of a permanent drug delivery system. The highest dose, 30 mg/day, was selected to maintain a safety margin below the 100-mg/day dose that was explored in a phase 1 study. The authors found no statistically significant difference in the primary outcome measure, which was the numerical pain rating scale and response rate after 3 weeks, for any dose versus placebo. Physical functioning, quality of life, and emotional functioning also revealed no differences. Small, nonsignificant changes occurred in opioid medication use. The most frequent device-related adverse events were transient postimplant (lumbar puncture) headache, pain, and nausea. The most frequent gabapentin-related adverse events were nausea, somnolence, headache, dizziness, fatigue, and peripheral edema. Twenty-two days of intrathecal gabapentin did not demonstrate statistically significant or clinically meaningful analgesic effects. The study sponsor has no current plans for further studies. Drug-related adverse events were similar to those for oral gabapentin. Most device-related adverse events resulted from the implant surgery or anesthesia.
    Anesthesiology 09/2013; 119(3):675-86. DOI:10.1097/ALN.0b013e3182a10fbf · 6.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Present treatment methods are often unsatisfactory in reducing post-amputation pain. Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) could reduce the pain, but it is rarely used because present methods require invasive surgical access and precise placement of the leads in close proximity (≤2 mm) with the nerve. The present study investigated the feasibility of delivering PNS to patients with moderate-to-severe post-amputation pain in the lower extremity using a fine-wire lead placed percutaneously under ultrasound guidance a remote distance (0.5-3.0 cm) away from the sciatic and/or femoral nerves. Fourteen of the 16 subjects who completed in-clinic testing responded to stimulation, reported ≥75% paresthesia coverage, obtained clinically significant pain relief, and proceeded to a two-week home trial with a percutaneous PNS system. Two of the 14 responders had their leads removed early because of accidental dislodgement (N = 2), two had temporary discomfort near the lead (N = 2), and one had return of post-amputation pain despite stimulation (N = 1) and did not complete the home trial. The nine responders who completed the home trial reported reductions in their mean daily worst post-amputation pain (56 ± 26%, 56 ± 26%, N = 9), average residual limb pain (72 ± 28%, 42 ± 27%, N = 7), average phantom limb pain (81 ± 28%, 47 ± 48%, N = 7), residual limb pain interference (81 ± 27%, 53 ± 17%, N = 6), phantom limb pain interference (83 ± 31%, 56 ± 46%, N = 7), and Pain Disability Index (70 ± 38%, 55 ± 32%, N = 9) during the second week of stimulation and four weeks after the end of stimulation, respectively. All nine responders rated their change in quality of life as improved at the end of stimulation and at the end of the four-week follow-up period. Subjects reported minor decreases in the Beck Depression Inventory scores (43 ± 51%, 32 ± 57%, N = 9). Most subjects had no substantial changes other than minor decreases (N = 3) in pain medication. Achievement of significant pain relief and improvements in quality of life with a minimally invasive method of PNS holds promise for providing relief of post-amputation pain.
    Neuromodulation 08/2013; 17(2). DOI:10.1111/ner.12102 · 1.79 Impact Factor
  • Richard L Rauck
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    ABSTRACT: Most prescribed opioids exert their analgesic effects via activation of central μ-opioid receptors. However, μ-opioid receptors are also located in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and activation of these receptors by opioids can lead to GI-related adverse effects, in particular opioid-induced constipation (OIC). OIC has been associated with increased use of healthcare resources, increased healthcare costs, and decreased quality of life for patients. Nonpharmacologic (e.g., increased fiber uptake) and pharmacologic agents (e.g., laxatives) may be considered for the treatment and prevention of OIC. However, many interventions, such as laxatives alone, are generally insufficient to reverse OIC because they do not target the underlying cause of OIC, opioid activation of μ-opioid receptors in the GI tract. Therefore, there has been keen interest in antagonism of the μ-opioid receptor in the periphery to inhibit the effects of opioids in the GI tract. In this review, currently available pharmacologic therapies for the treatment and prevention of OIC are summarized briefly, with a primary focus on the administration of the peripheral μ-opioid receptor antagonist methylnaltrexone bromide in patients with OIC and advanced illness who are receiving palliative care. Also, clinical trial data of methylnaltrexone treatment in patients with OIC and other pain conditions (i.e., chronic noncancer pain and pain after orthopedic surgery) are reviewed. Data support that methylnaltrexone is efficacious for the treatment of OIC and has a favorable tolerability profile.
    Drugs 07/2013; 73(12). DOI:10.1007/s40265-013-0084-5 · 4.13 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
457.80 Total Impact Points


  • 2006–2015
    • Carolinas Pain Institute
      • Center for Clinical Research
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
  • 2008–2014
    • North Carolina Clinical Research
      Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
    • Winston-Salem State University
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
  • 2012
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • Jefferson College
      Хиллсборо, Missouri, United States
  • 2011
    • The University of Arizona
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 1990–2011
    • Wake Forest University
      • Department of Anesthesiology
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
  • 2005
    • Virginia Commonwealth University
      Richmond, Virginia, United States
  • 2003
    • Wake Forest School of Medicine
      • Department of Anesthesiology
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States