Quick discrimination of A delta and C fiber mediated pain based on three verbal descriptors

Background: A delta and C fibers are the major pain-conducting nerve fibers, activate only partly the same brain areas, and are differently involved in pain syndromes. Whether a stimulus excites predominantly A delta or 
Background: A delta and C fibers are the major pain-conducting nerve fibers, activate only partly the same brain areas, and are differently involved in pain syndromes. Whether a stimulus excites predominantly A delta or C fibers is a commonly asked question in basic pain research but a quick test was lacking so far. Methodology/Principal Findings: Of 77 verbal descriptors of pain sensations, "pricking", "dull" and "pressing" distinguished best (95% cases correctly) between A delta fiber mediated (punctate pressure produced by means of von Frey hairs) and C fiber mediated (blunt pressure) pain, applied to healthy volunteers in experiment 1. The sensation was assigned to A delta fibers when "pricking" but neither "dull" nor "pressing" were chosen, and to C fibers when the sum of the selections of "dull" or "pressing" was greater than that of the selection of "pricking". In experiment 2, with an independent cohort, the three-descriptor questionnaire achieved sensitivity and specificity above 0.95 for distinguishing fiber preferential non-mechanical induced pain (laser heat, exciting A delta fibers, and 5-Hz electric stimulation, exciting C fibers). Conclusion: A three-item verbal rating test using the words "pricking", "dull", and "pressing" may provide sufficient information to characterize a pain sensation evoked by a physical stimulus as transmitted via A delta or via C fibers. It meets the criteria of a screening test by being easy to administer, taking little time, being comfortable in handling, and inexpensive while providing high specificity for relevant information.
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Metadaten
Author:Florian Beißner, Amadeus Brandau, Christian Henke, Lisa Felden, Ulf Baumgärtner, Rolf-Detlef Treede, Bruno Georg Oertel, Jörn Lötsch
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30-114220
DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012944
ISSN:1932-6203
Parent Title (English):PLoS One
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2010/09/23
Date of first Publication:2010/09/23
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2011/09/01
Volume:5
Issue:(9): e12944
Note:
Copyright: © 2010 Beissner et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Source:PLoS ONE 5(9): e12944. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012944
HeBIS PPN:275124878
Institutes:Pharmazie
Medizin
Zentrum für Arzneimittelforschung, Entwicklung und Sicherheit
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 3.0

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