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Neuropathic pain after thoracotomy: tracking signs and symptoms before and at monthly intervals following surgery

Gandhi, W., Pomares, F. B., Naso, L., Asenjo, J. F. and Schweinhardt, P. (2020) Neuropathic pain after thoracotomy: tracking signs and symptoms before and at monthly intervals following surgery. European Journal of Pain. pp. 1269-1289. ISSN 1090-3801

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/ejp.1569

Abstract/Summary

Background: Because the development of neuropathic symptoms contributes to pain severity and chronification after surgery, their early prediction is important to allow targeted treatment. Objectives: We longitudinally investigated trajectories of signs and symptoms in patients undergoing thoracotomy and assessed whether and at which time they were related to the development of neuropathic pain symptoms six months after surgery. Methods: Presurgical and six, monthly postsurgical assessments included questionnaires for mental and physical well-being (e.g. depression/anxiety, pain catastrophizing, sleep quality, neuropathic pain symptoms), and quantitative sensory testing (QST). Results: QST trajectories indicated nerve impairment of the surgery site with predominant loss of function. Signs of recovery towards the end of the assessment period were observed for some tests. Unsupervised cluster analysis with NPSI scores six months after surgery as clustering variable identified one group with no/low levels of neuropathic symptoms and one with moderate levels. The two groups differed w.r.t. several signs and symptoms already at early time points. Notably, neuropathic pain anywhere in the body differed already preoperatively and sleep impairment differentiated the two groups at all time points. Regression analysis revealed three factors that seemed particularly suited to predicted six months NPSI scores, namely preoperative neuropathic pain symptoms, with contributions from sleep impairment one month after surgery and the presence of dynamic mechanical allodynia three months after surgery. Conclusions: Clinical routine should focus on the individual’s physiological state, including pre-existing neuropathic pain and sleep quality to identify patients early who might be at risk to develop chronic post-surgical neuropathic pain.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
ID Code:90697
Publisher:Wiley

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