Symptom profiles differ in patients with neuropathic versus non-neuropathic pain.

TitleSymptom profiles differ in patients with neuropathic versus non-neuropathic pain.
Publication TypeJournal Article
2007
AuthorsDworkin RH, Jensen MP, Gammaitoni AR, Olaleye DO, Galer BS
JournalJournal of Pain
Volume8
Issue2
Pagination118-26
Date Published2007 Feb
ISSN1526-5900
Administration, Topical, Adult, Aged, Anesthetics, Local, Diabetic Neuropathies, Female, Humans, Lidocaine, Logistic Models, Low Back Pain, Male, Middle Aged, Neuralgia, Neuralgia, Postherpetic, Osteoarthritis, Pain Measurement, Polyneuropathies, Severity of Illness Index

The distinction between neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain reflects partially distinct mechanisms and patterns of treatment response. It was therefore hypothesized that patients with neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain have different profiles of symptoms and signs. To test this hypothesis, pain intensity, unpleasantness, quality, and spatial characteristics were examined in 618 patients with 1 of 3 peripheral neuropathic pain conditions (painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, painful idiopathic sensory polyneuropathy, or postherpetic neuralgia), osteoarthritis pain, or low back pain. These assessments were conducted before treatment had begun in clinical trials of lidocaine patch 5% administered alone or with stable dosages of other analgesics. Patients with osteoarthritis pain and low back pain did not differ in their profile of pain quality and spatial characteristics and were combined to form a group of patients with non-neuropathic pain. In univariate analyses, patients with peripheral neuropathic pain reported significantly more intense hot, cold, sensitive, itchy, and surface pain and significantly less intense dull and deep pain than patients with non-neuropathic pain. In a multivariate analysis, the overall pattern of pain quality and spatial characteristics differed significantly between patients with neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain. In addition, specific pain quality and spatial characteristics improved the discrimination of patients with neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain in a logistic regression model that adjusted for demographic covariates and overall pain intensity and unpleasantness. PERSPECTIVE: The results indicate that the distinction between neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain is reflected in different profiles of pain quality and spatial characteristics and suggest that the assessment of patterns of pain symptoms might contribute to the identification of distinct pathophysiologic mechanisms and the development of mechanism-based treatment approaches.

10.1016/j.jpain.2006.06.005

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