Amputation Pain Study at UAMS Enrolling Participants

By David Robinson

Led at UAMS by Erika Petersen, M.D., a neurosurgeon and researcher, the study is part of a clinical trial being conducted at sites across the United States.

The study is testing the safety and effectiveness of an implanted device, Altius® High Frequency Nerve Block, that is designed to block nerve signals and reduce pain in an amputated limb. The investigational device sends a high-frequency electrical signal to targeted nerves to block the nerve transmission. It was developed by Neuros Medical Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio.

Called the QUEST study (High-FreQUEncy Nerve Block for PoST-Amputation Pain, Identifier: NCT02221934), it is a randomized, controlled clinical study of up to 180 patients, at up to 25 clinical study sites in the U.S.

Study participants will undergo surgery to be implanted with the device. It includes a cuff electrode, which is coiled around the nerve, and a pulse generator, which is similar to a pacemaker. Together they deliver an electrical signal to the nerve when activated. Once implanted, study participants can activate a 30-minute treatment session on demand, as needed for their pain. Participants will be followed for a year and seen in clinic once a month. They will also receive modest compensation for their time and travel.

Eligibility requirements for participating in the study include:

  • Having one amputated leg
  • Frequent and recurring amputation pain
  • 21 years of age or older

Those interested in learning if they are eligible may contact the UAMS Translational Research Institute study coordinator, 501-398-8622.

An earlier pilot study involving 10 participants demonstrated that the implant device may be safe and effective for post-amputation pain. (Soin A., Syed Shah N., Fang Z-P. 2015. High-Frequency Electrical Nerve Block for Postamputation Pain: A Pilot Study. Neuromodulation 2015; 18:197-206). DCO# 18-0030 / LB-0042 Rev. A / Effective May 23, 2018 Page 4 of 11.

The project described is supported by the Translational Research Institute (TRI), grant 1U54TR001629-01A1 through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and six institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,727 students, 822 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.