Pulsed radio frequency energy (PRFE) use in human medical applications

Division of Plastic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital , Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.19). 03/2011; 30(1):21-45. DOI: 10.3109/15368378.2011.566775
Source: PubMed


A number of electromagnetic field-based technologies are available for therapeutic medical applications. These therapies can be broken down into different categories based on technical parameters employed and type of clinical application. Pulsed radio frequency energy (PRFE) therapy is a non invasive, electromagnetic field-based therapeutic that is based on delivery of pulsed, shortwave radio frequency energy in the 13-27.12 MHz carrier frequency range, and designed for local application to a target tissue without the intended generation of deep heat. It has been studied for use in a number of clinical applications, including as a palliative treatment for both postoperative and non postoperative pain and edema, as well as in wound healing applications. This review provides an introduction to the therapy, a summary of clinical efficacy studies using the therapy in specific applications, and an overview of treatment-related safety.

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    • "The exogenous application of electric currents has emerged as an effective therapeutic strategy in the treatment of a number of lesions and ailments [1], [2]. Indeed, electrotherapy has proven effective in relieving pain, promoting blood circulation, reducing the tone of vascular and skeletal muscle and promoting resorption of oedema and joint effusions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Capacitive Resistive Electric Transfer (CRET) therapy applies currents of 0.4-0.6 MHz to treatment of inflammatory and musculoskeletal injuries. Previous studies have shown that intermittent exposure to CRET currents at subthermal doses exert cytotoxic or antiproliferative effects in human neuroblastoma or hepatocarcinoma cells, respectively. It has been proposed that such effects would be mediated by cell cycle arrest and by changes in the expression of cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. The present work focuses on the study of the molecular mechanisms involved in CRET-induced cytostasis and investigates the possibility that the cellular response to the treatment extends to other phenomena, including induction of apoptosis and/or of changes in the differentiation stage of hepatocarcinoma cells. The obtained results show that the reported antiproliferative action of intermittent stimulation (5 m On/4 h Off) with 0.57 MHz, sine wave signal at a current density of 50 µA/mm(2), could be mediated by significant increase of the apoptotic rate as well as significant changes in the expression of proteins p53 and Bcl-2. The results also revealed a significantly decreased expression of alpha-fetoprotein in the treated samples, which, together with an increased concentration of albumin released into the medium by the stimulated cells, can be interpreted as evidence of a transient cytodifferentiating response elicited by the current. The fact that this type of electrical stimulation is capable of promoting both, differentiation and cell cycle arrest in human cancer cells, is of potential interest for a possible extension of the applications of CRET therapy towards the field of oncology.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The medical applications of PRFE therapy has recently been well reviewed by Guo et al (Guo, Kubat et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: PRFE has been established as tool for various medical treatments, from wound healing to rejuvenation to many applications in the orthopedic therapeutic treatments. The technology has been approved by most health insurance companies for in hospital and doctor prescribed home use treatments. Summary of the applications and the medical explanations for the healing process is outlined. Brief description of our device(s) and its suggested initial applications are also given here. Our devices are lightweight, wired or wireless, flexible with body molding capabilities, cell based radiation sources that makes them suitable for any applications, with or without embedded LED technology among the EM sources for faster healing, and embedded sensors at various key points in the healing pad. It offers simultaneously various field strengths and various frequencies over the area being treated. Each cell has independent wireless field strength and frequency control, solar battery charging and portable for use elsewhere. Offers use during or between various activities such as camping, hiking, traveling, exercising, and any other activity the patient is involved in. Dynamic use of the device increases its usefulness as a pain management and healing process.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013
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    • "Recently, biophysical treatment modalities have been shown to be useful as an adjunctive analgesic therapy option. One such modality, pulsed radiofrequency energy (PRFE), is an adjunctive therapy which involves local noninvasive delivery of PRFE (27.12 mHz carrier frequency) to superficial soft tissue, a treatment which has been reported to provide analgesic benefit in patients following surgery or other soft tissue trauma, with few reports of side effects.11 Three recent, randomized, double-blind clinical trials that used PRFE field treatment for pain in post-surgical patients found significantly reduced levels of reported pain as well as analgesic consumption in patients treated with PRFE relative to control patients treated with a sham device.12–14 "
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    ABSTRACT: Pulsed radiofrequency energy (PRFE) fields are being used increasingly for the treatment of pain arising from dermal trauma. However, despite their increased use, little is known about the biological and molecular mechanism(s) responsible for PRFE-mediated analgesia. In general, current therapeutics used for analgesia target either endogenous factors involved in inflammation, or act on endogenous opioid pathways. Using cultured human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) and human epidermal keratinocytes (HEK), we investigated the effect of PRFE treatment on factors, which are involved in modulating peripheral analgesia in vivo. We found that PRFE treatment did not inhibit cyclooxygenase enzyme activity, but instead had a positive effect on levels of endogenous opioid precursor mRNA (proenkephalin, pro-opiomelanocortin, prodynorphin) and corresponding opioid peptide. In HEK cells, increases in opioid mRNA were dependent, at least in part, on endothelin-1. In HDF cells, additional pathways also appear to be involved. PRFE treatment was also followed by changes in endogenous expression of several cytokines, including increased levels of interleukin-10 mRNA and decreased levels of interleukin-1β mRNA in both cell types. These findings provide a new insight into the molecular mechanism underlying PRFE-mediated analgesia reported in the clinical setting.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Journal of Pain Research
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