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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Apr 2019 - 3 May 2019

Human Studies

2019 Jul 26

Scand J Pain



Possible inflammatory pain biomarkers in postamputation pain.


Buch N S, Nikolajsen L, Karlsson P
Scand J Pain. 2019 Jul 26; 19(3):623-627.
PMID: 31031267.


Although chronic pain after amputation is frequent, the underlying mechanisms are still not well understood. It is widely accepted that the pathogenesis of postamputation pain is multifactorial, with both peripheral and central mechanisms playing an essential role. However, recent studies suggest that the immune system plays an important role in different neuropathic pain conditions, including postamputation pain. Eleven amputees were included in this clinical study. Information on the type and intensity of spontaneous postamputation pain was obtained and evoked pain responses for brush, cold, and warm allodynia and pinprick hyperalgesia were determined. In addition, skin biopsies were taken from the amputated site and a contralateral control site and analysed for possible markers of pain: IbA1 (macrophages), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and substance P (SP). Irrespectively of the type and intensity of postamputation pain, no differences were found in IbA1, CGRP, and SP levels between the amputated site and the control site. Although no differences between the sites were seen in this study, this new method seems promising for our understanding of skin changes in amputees. In future studies, staining for other cytokines and inflammatory mediators in skin biopsies could provide new insight into the mechanisms of postamputation pain.