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Sequential Compression Devices for Treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome

19:31 EDT 18th April 2014 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to determine if sequential compression devices (SCD) when worn for an hour per day by patients suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) are helpful for the improvement of the RLS symptoms and sleep.


Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a highly vexing problem manifested by sensory and motor symptoms that disrupt sleep onset or sleep maintenance. RLS is the second most common sleep disorder and occurs with an estimated prevalence of 10% in the general population. The sleep disruption results in daytime symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and mood changes. There are no consistently reliable treatment alternatives. There is an urgent need for new, innovative treatment strategies because available pharmacological treatments often stop working over time or are associated with unacceptable side effects. An effective nonpharmacological treatment would be a highly attractive alternative.

Anecdotally, patients have reported that use of sequential compression devices (SCD) prescribed for prophylaxis of deep vein thrombosis can have a positive effect on RLS symptoms. Because this nonpharmacological alternative is available, safe, and affordable, further investigation is warranted.

Simply stated, the null hypothesis is that SCD therapy does not have an impact on RLS symptoms.

Patients will be randomized to wearing SCDs or sham SCDs for an hour each day prior to the usual onset of the RLS symptoms. At baseline and at monthly follow-ups for 3 to 4 months, participants will complete questionnaires to assess the severity of the RLS symptoms, their daytime sleepiness, and the impact of the RLS on quality of life.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Restless Legs Syndrome


AirCast Sequential Compression Device


Christopher Lettieri MD
Sleep Disorders Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center
District of Columbia
United States




Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Results (where available)

View Results


Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A disorder characterized by aching or burning sensations in the lower and rarely the upper extremities that occur prior to sleep or may awaken the patient from sleep. Complying with an irresistible urge to move the affected limbs brings temporary relief. Sleep may become disrupted, resulting in excessive daytime hypersomnolence. This condition may be associated with UREMIA; DIABETES MELLITUS; and rheumatoid arthritis. Restless Legs Syndrome differs from NOCTURNAL MYOCLONUS SYNDROME in that in the latter condition the individual does not report adverse sensory stimuli and it is primarily a sleep-associated movement disorder. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p387; Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 1997 Apr 30;86(18):732-736)

Tight coverings for the foot and leg that are worn to aid circulation in the legs and prevent the formation of EDEMA and DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS. PNEUMATIC COMPRESSION STOCKINGS serve a similar purpose especially for bedridden patients and following surgery.

A syndrome associated with traumatic injury to the cervical or upper thoracic regions of the spinal cord characterized by weakness in the arms with relative sparing of the legs and variable sensory loss. This condition is associated with ischemia, hemorrhage, or necrosis involving the central portions of the spinal cord. Corticospinal fibers destined for the legs are spared due to their more external location in the spinal cord. This clinical pattern may emerge during recovery from spinal shock. Deficits may be transient or permanent.

Instruments that generate intermittent forces, uniformed or graduated, to facilitate the emptying of VEINS. These devices are used to reduce limb EDEMA and prevent venous THROMBOEMBOLISM, such as deep vein thrombosis in the legs.

Removal of a MEDICAL DEVICE from the market due to the identification of an intrinsic property of the device that results in a serious risk to public health.

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