Research & Innovation | ACNES: A prospective follow-up study

A retrospective chart review with a prospective follow-up studying the effect of abdominal (anterior) cutaneous nerve blocks for abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome (ACNES) in a pediatric population.

Principal Investigator: Pradeep Dinakar, MD, MS, MBA
Collaborators: Samuel Nurko, MD, MPH, Neil Schechter, MD, Beate Beinvogl, MD, MPH, Charles Berde, MD, David Mooney, MD, MPH, Bobbie Riley, MD, Anjali Koka, MD
Research Staff: Yanira Posadas, MPH, Kimberly Lobo, MPH, Carolina Donado, MD, MBI, Karina Lukovits, BSc

What is the purpose of this study?

The overall goal of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of abdominal wall blocks under ultrasound guidance for abdominal (anterior) cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome (ACNES) in pediatric patients.

The study has a retrospective arm that looked at outcomes in patients who received the abdominal wall block from January 2009 to April 2019 at Boston Children’s Hospital. We are now reviewing ongoing outcomes in those patients in the form of a onetime questionnaire.

Our aims are to study the trend in abdominal pain scores caused by ACNES from baseline to after the abdominal cutaneous nerve block treatment. The other outcomes measures include changes in Functional Disability Inventory (FDI), Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL), socio-demographic, clinical history and physical exam characteristics of individuals with ACNES, changes in gastrointestinal symptoms unrelated to ACNES pain, clinical course (number of abdominal cutaneous nerve blocks, those needing anterior neurectomies), typical characteristics patients with refractory ACNES and safety of abdominal cutaneous nerve block treatment.

Who is eligible?

This study is not enrolling new patients. Instead, we will be reviewing outcomes data from the following groups:

  • Patients between ages 7 and 21 years of age treated in the Pain Treatment Service at Boston Children’s for ACNES who received an abdominal cutaneous nerve block between January 2009 and April 2019 with documented demographic and primary outcomes information
  • Patients seen in the Chronic Pain Clinic since 2009 whose subsequent care was entirely as an outpatient and involved treatments like medications, physical therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy

Where can I get more information?

If you have general questions about this research, you can contact the principal investigator, Dr. Dinakar, or our research contacts, Yanira Posadas or Kimberly Lobo, at 617-919-6143 / 617-355-7040. Email Paininterventionalresearch@childrens.harvard.edu for more details.