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Papers: 8 Jan 2022 - 14 Jan 2022

2022 Jan 12

J Neurophysiol

Priming of central- and peripheral mechanisms with heat and cutaneous capsaicin facilitates secondary hyperalgesia to high frequency electrical stimulation.



Heat/capsaicin sensitization and electrical high frequency stimulation (HFS) are well known model of secondary hyperalgesia, a phenomenon related to chronic pain conditions. This study investigated whether priming with heat/capsaicin would facilitate hyperalgesia to HFS in healthy subjects. Heat/capsaicin priming consisted of a 45 °C heat stimulation for 5 min followed by a topical capsaicin patch (4×4 cm) for 30 minutes on the volar forearm of 20 subjects. HFS (100 Hz, 5 times 1s, minimum 1.5 mA) was subsequently delivered through a transcutaneous pin electrode approximately 1.5 cm proximal to the heat/capsaicin application. Two sessions were applied in a crossover design; traditional HFS (HFS) and heat/capsaicin sensitization followed by HFS (HFS+HEAT/CAPS). Heat pain threshold (HPT), mechanical pain sensitivity (MPS) and superficial blood perfusion were assessed at baseline, after capsaicin removal, and up to 40 min after HFS. MPS was assessed with pinprick stimulation (128 mN and 256 mN) in the area adjacent to both HFS and heat/capsaicin, distal but adjacent to heat/capsaicin and in a distal control area. HPT was assessed in the area of heat/capsaicin. Higher sensitivity to 128 mN pinprick stimulation (difference from baseline and control area) was observed in the HFS+HEAT/CAPS session than in the HFS session 20 and 30 minutes after HFS. Furthermore, sensitivity was increased after HFS+HEAT/CAPS compared to after heat/capsaicin in the area adjacent to both paradigms, but not in the area distal to heat/capsaicin. Results indicate that heat/capsaicin causes priming of the central- and peripheral nervous system, which facilitates secondary mechanical hyperalgesia to HFS.