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Papers: 21 Jan 2023 - 3 Feb 2023

2022 Dec 29




Central Sensitization and Psychological State Distinguishing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome from Other Chronic Limb Pain Conditions: A Cluster Analysis Model.


Karpin H, Vatine J-J, Bachar Kirshenboim Y, Markezana A, Weissman-Fogel I
Biomedicines. 2022 Dec 29; 11(1).
PMID: 36672597.


Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) taxonomy has been updated with reported subtypes and is defined as primary pain alongside other chronic limb pain (CLP) conditions. We aimed at identifying CRPS clinical phenotypes that distinguish CRPS from other CLP conditions. Cluster analysis was carried out to classify 61 chronic CRPS and 31 CLP patients based on evoked pain (intensity of hyperalgesia and dynamic allodynia, allodynia area, and after-sensation) and psychological (depression, kinesiophobia, mental distress, and depersonalization) measures. Pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and TNF-α serum levels were measured. Three cluster groups were created: 'CRPS' (78.7% CRPS; 6.5% CLP); 'CLP' (64.5% CLP; 4.9% CRPS), and 'Mixed' (16.4% CRPS; 29% CLP). The groups differed in all measures, predominantly in allodynia and hyperalgesia ( < 0.001, η² > 0.58). 'CRPS' demonstrated higher psychological and evoked pain measures vs. 'CLP'. 'Mixed' exhibited similarities to 'CRPS' in psychological profile and to 'CLP' in evoked pain measures. The serum level of TNF-αwas higher in the 'CRPS' vs. 'CLP' ( < 0.001) groups. In conclusion, pain hypersensitivity reflecting nociplastic pain mechanisms and psychological state measures created different clinical phenotypes of CRPS and possible CRPS subtypes, which distinguishes them from other CLP conditions, with the pro-inflammatory TNF-α cytokine as an additional potential biomarker.