Radiofrequency in the treatment of primary hyperhidrosis: systematic review and meta-analysis

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Purpose: To evaluate, via a systematic review, the effectiveness of radiofrequency (RF) for treatment of primary hyperhidrosis (PH). Methods: Experimental or observational studies were included where RF treatment (ablation or microneedling) was performed, comparing the periods before and after treatment. Results: Nine studies were considered eligible and included for analysis. In seven of nine studies, patients were subjected to RF only, and in two of nine studies RF was compared to video-assisted thoracoscopic sympathectomy (VATS). There was a reduction in the severity of PH in microneedling (three studies, mean difference −1.24, 95% CI −1.44 to −1.03). In a study that performed sympathetic RF ablation there was a greater reduction in PH severity compared to studies that performed microneedling (−2.42, 95% CI −2.55 to −2.29). There was improvement in the quality of life (QoL) after sympathetic RF ablation (two studies, mean difference −15.92, 95% CI −17.61 to −14.24). Regarding the microneedling procedure, there was a lower improvement in QoL, (two studies, −9.0, 95% CI −9.15 to −8.85). One study comparing sympathetic RF ablation with VATS applied the QoL questionnaire, and the VATS showed superior results. One of the two studies comparing compensatory sweating in RF ablation with VATS showed that compensatory hyperhidrosis was higher in VATS; however, the other study did not observe this difference. One study compared the recurrence of symptoms between VATS and RF ablation; symptom recurrence was shown to be higher in RF. Conclusions: RF is effective for PH treatment, with superior results obtained with sympathetic ablation compared to microneedling.




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Clinical Autonomic Research, v. 30, n. 2, p. 111-120, 2020.

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