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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 May 2023 - 19 May 2023

Pediatric, Review

Genetics, Human Studies, Neurobiology


2023 May 19

Eur J Anaesthesiol


Genetic risk factors for chronic postsurgical pain in children: A narrative review.


He BH, Diatchenko L, Ingelmo P


Genetic risk factors for chronic postsurgical pain in adults have been established, but little is known whether the same associations exist in children. It is even less clear how much influence single nucleotide polymorphisms can exert on the phenotypic expression of chronic postsurgical pain in children in general. To this effect, a search was made for original articles which met the following criteria: evaluation of postsurgical pain in children with known genetic mutations or, conversely, evaluation of atypical pain trajectories of postsurgical children assessing for possible genetic mutations that may explain the phenotype. All titles and abstracts retrieved were reviewed for suitability for inclusion. The references of the selected articles were also checked for additional relevant papers. To assess the transparency and quality of the genetic studies both STrengthening the REporting of Genetic Association studies scores and Q-Genie scores were applied. Overall, there is a paucity of information regarding the link between genetic mutations and eventual chronic postsurgical pain development although there is some information on acute postoperative pain. Evidence has shown that the contribution of genetic risk factors to chronic postsurgical pain development appears to be minor, with its clinical relevance yet to be described. More advanced techniques in systems biology (proteomics, transcriptomics) suggest promising avenues for investigating the disease.