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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 May 2021 - 7 May 2021

Human Studies

2021 Apr 27

J Clin Med



Chronic Breast Pain Prior to Breast Cancer Surgery Is Associated with Worse Acute Postoperative Pain Outcomes.


Raza MM, Zaslansky R, Gordon DB, Wildisen JM, Komann M, Stamer UM, Langford DJ
J Clin Med. 2021 Apr 27; 10(9).
PMID: 33925567.


Acute postoperative pain is associated with adverse short and long-term outcomes among women undergoing surgery for breast cancer. Previous studies identified preexisting pain as a predictor of postoperative pain, but rarely accounted for pain location or chronicity. This study leveraged a multinational pain registry, PAIN OUT, to: (1) characterize patient subgroups based on preexisting chronic breast pain status and (2) determine the association of preexisting chronic pain with acute postoperative pain-related patient-reported outcomes and opioid consumption following breast cancer surgery. The primary outcome was a composite score comprising the mean of pain intensity and pain interference items from the International Pain Outcomes Questionnaire. The secondary outcome was opioid consumption in the recovery room and ward. Among 1889 patients, we characterized three subgroups: no preexisting chronic pain ( = 1600); chronic preexisting pain elsewhere ( = 128) and; chronic preexisting pain in the breast with/without pain elsewhere ( = 161). Controlling for covariates, women with preexisting chronic breast pain experienced more severe acute postoperative pain and pain interference (β = 1.0, 95% CI = 0.7-1.3, < 0.001), and required higher doses of opioids postoperatively (β = 2.7, 95% CI = 0.6-4.8, = 0.013). Preexisting chronic breast pain may be an important risk factor for poor pain-related postoperative outcomes. Targeted intervention of this subgroup may improve recovery.