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Papers of the Week

Papers: 5 Aug 2023 - 11 Aug 2023


Human Studies, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development


2023 Aug 02

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol


Chronic Pain Management in Sickle Cell Disease: A Systematic Scoping Review of Controlled Trials.


Sidhom D, Aboul-Hassan D, Clauw DJ, Cofield C, Bergmans R


Existing treatment for chronic pain in sickle cell disease (SCD) is opioid-dependent, which is ineffective and carries risks. We conducted a scoping literature review to assess the size and scope of available literature about controlled trials of therapies for SCD chronic pain and identify research gaps. The search strategy in PubMed and EMBASE utilized keywords for chronic pain and sickle cell and identified seven original articles that met inclusion criteria. Six of the studies recruited from clinics while one recruited from community sources. Cannabis and behavioral modification were associated with improvements in pain scores. However, existing evidence does not represent best practices for assessing chronic pain, and this along with small sample sizes prevents translation to clinical care. The limited evidence concerning treatment for SCD chronic pain highlights the need for larger trials of opioid alternatives and the utilization of chronic pain measures that capture nociplastic pain in SCD.