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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 May 2023 - 19 May 2023

Clinical, Methodology

Human Studies, Neurobiology

2023 Mar 27





Outcomes of a QST Protocol in Healthy Subjects and Chronic Pain Patients: A Controlled Clinical Trial.


Dias P, Tavares I, Fonseca S, Pozza DH


Chronic pain is an important cause of disability with a high burden to society. Quantitative sensory testing (QST) is a noninvasive multimodal method used to discriminate the function of nerve fibers. The aim of this study is to propose a new, reproducible, and less time-consuming thermal QST protocol to help characterize and monitor pain. Additionally, this study also compared QST outcomes between healthy and chronic pain subjects. Forty healthy young/adult medical students and fifty adult/elderly chronic pain patients were evaluated in individual sessions including pain history, followed by QST assessments divided into three proposed tests: pain threshold, suprathreshold, and tonic pain. In the chronic pain group, a significantly higher pain threshold (hypoesthesia) and a higher pain sensibility (hyperalgesia) were demonstrated at threshold temperature when compared to healthy participants. The sensitivity to the suprathreshold and tonic stimulus did not prove to be significantly different between both groups. The main results demonstrated that the heat threshold QST tests can be helpful in evaluating hypoesthesia and that the sensitivity threshold temperature test can demonstrate hyperalgesia in individuals with chronic pain. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the importance of using tools such as QST as a complement to detect changes in several pain dimensions.