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Papers: 25 Jan 2020 - 31 Jan 2020

Human Studies


Front Hum Neurosci


Contact Heat Evoked Potentials Are Responsive to Peripheral Sensitization: Requisite Stimulation Parameters.


Linde LD, Haefeli J, Jutzeler CR, Rosner J, McDougall J, Curt A, Kramer JLK
Front Hum Neurosci. 2019; 13:459.
PMID: 31998104.


The sensitizing effect of capsaicin has been previously characterized using laser and contact heat evoked potentials (LEPs and CHEPs) by stimulating in the primary area of hyperalgesia. Interestingly, only CHEPs reveal changes consistent with notion of peripheral sensitization (i.e., reduced latencies). The aim of this study was to investigate contact heat stimulation parameters necessary to detect peripheral sensitization related to the topical application of capsaicin, and therefore significantly improve the current method of measuring peripheral sensitization via CHEPs. Rapid contact heat stimulation (70°C/s) was applied from three different baseline temperatures (35, 38.5, and 42°C) to a 52°C peak temperature, before and after the topical application of capsaicin on the hand dorsum. Increased pain ratings in the primary area of hyperalgesia were accompanied by reduced N2 latency. Changes in N2 latency were, however, only significant following stimulation from 35 and 38.5°C baseline temperatures. These findings suggest that earlier recruitment of capsaicin-sensitized afferents occurs between 35 and 42°C, as stimulations from 42°C baseline were unchanged by capsaicin. This is in line with reduced thresholds of type II A-delta mechanoheat (AMH) nociceptors following sensitization. Conventional CHEP stimulation, with a baseline temperature below 42°C, is well suited to objectively detect evidence of peripheral sensitization.