Cases reported "Hyperalgesia"

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1/11. hyperalgesia with reduced laser evoked potentials in neuropathic pain.

    Nociceptive evoked potentials to laser stimuli (LEPs) are able to detect lesions of pain and temperature pathways at peripheral, spinal and supraspinal levels. It is commonly accepted that LEP attenuation correlates with the loss of pain and temperature sensations, while pathological heat-pain hypersensitivity has been associated with increased LEP amplitude. Here we present two patients in whom increased pain sensation (hyperalgesia) to laser stimuli was, on the contrary, associated to delayed, desynchronized and attenuated LEPs. Both patients experienced increased unpleasantness and affective reactions to laser, associated to poor ability to localize the stimulus. In both cases the results may be explained by an overactivation of the 'medial pain system', in one patient due to deafferentation of cortical sensory areas by a capsular lesion, and in the other to imbalance between A-delta and C fiber excitation due to peripheral nerve injury. Our results suggest that LEPs, as currently recorded, reflect the activity of a 'lateral' pain system subserved by rapidly conducting fibers. They may therefore, assess the sensory and cognitive dimensions of pain, but may not index adequately the affective-emotional aspects of pain sensation conveyed by the 'medial' pain system. The dissociation between pain sensation and cortical EPs deserve to be added to the current semiology of LEPs, as the presence of abnormal pain to laser on the background of reduced LEPs substantiates the neuropathic nature of the pain.
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2/11. Prolonged differential wound hyperalgesia after an interval of unilateral epidural blockade during lower abdominal surgery.

    We assessed postoperative pain at rest and with movement along with wound hyperalgesia in a patient who had undergone lower abdominal surgery under general anesthesia with a unilateral epidural block that persisted throughout surgery and in whom the epidural catheter was replaced immediately afterward. pain and wound hyperalgesia were consistently greater on the "unblocked" side for the 3-wk period of observation. Thus, even imperfect intraoperative attenuation of noxious stimuli can lead to persistent reductions in postoperative pain.
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3/11. temperature-dependent double spikes in C-nociceptors of neuropathic pain patients.

    Five patients with small-fibre neuropathy characterized by temperature-dependent spontaneous pain, hyperalgesia/allodynia and signs of neurogenic inflammation were studied clinically and thermographically, and by microneurography. thermography revealed hyperthermia confined to painful and hyperalgesic skin of distal extremities, in absence of sympathetic vasomotor denervation. Quantitative sensory testing documented either reduced thresholds or increased suprathreshold magnitude for heat pain. Microneurography identified 13 primary cutaneous C-nociceptors generating abnormal impulses in response to electrical stimuli and, in one patient, nociceptors firing spontaneously. All five patients showed examples of double spikes, in which a single brief electrical stimulus occasionally or regularly evoked two impulses. In one case, a second impulse occurred at one of three different delays. In all five patients, warming of the skin increased the probability of a second impulse occurring. Impulse doubling has previously been reported as occurring rarely in normal subjects and is attributable to unfiltering of multiple orthodromic impulses due to unidirectional conduction failure at branch points. A higher incidence of double firing in neuropathic pain patients is probably due to a reduced safety factor for conduction in the terminal arborizations of their C-nociceptors. These observations show that unidirectional conduction block provides a peripheral mechanism of temperature-dependent nociceptor hyperactivity in small-fibre neuropathy that may contribute to hyperalgesia.
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4/11. Acute painful neuropathy in thallium poisoning.

    Dysesthesia, allodynia, distal muscle weakness, and sensory impairment were noted in two patients with acute thallium intoxication. Two months later, nerve conduction studies showed an axonal degeneration. sural nerve biopsy disclosed a decreased fiber density in the large myelinated fibers. Quantitative sensory testing also revealed an impairment of pinprick, temperature, and touch sensations. Cutaneous nerve biopsy confirmed a loss of epidermal nerves indicating an involvement of the small sensory nerves.
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5/11. Topical application of clonidine relieves hyperalgesia in patients with sympathetically maintained pain.

    patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy or causalgia characteristically have ongoing pain and pain to light touch (hyperalgesia). Some of these patients obtain relief of their pain following interruption of sympathetic function to the affected area and, therefore, have sympathetically maintained pain (SMP). Evidence suggests that the pain and hyperalgesia in SMP are related to activation of peripheral adrenergic receptors. We wished to determine the contribution of alpha 1- and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors in SMP and thus examined the effects of local application of adrenergic agents in patients with SMP. The alpha 2-adrenergic agonist clonidine, available as a transdermal patch, was delivered topically to the patients' hyperalgesic skin. In four patients with SMP, clonidine eliminated or substantially reduced hyperalgesia to mechanical and cold stimuli. In three of these patients the effects were confined to the skin region beneath the patch, suggesting a peripheral and not central effect. The relief of hyperalgesia was not due to a local anesthetic effect since touch thresholds were unaffected. Topical clonidine did not relieve hyperalgesia of similar severity for two other patients whose hyperalgesia and pain were unaffected by sympathetic ganglion blocks (i.e., diagnosed as having sympathetically independent pain). In two SMP patients, intradermal injection of norepinephrine or phenylephrine (a specific alpha 1-adrenergic agonist) at a site treated with clonidine evoked intense pain and rekindled the pre-clonidine hyperalgesia at that site. It is likely that clonidine locally blocks the release of norepinephrine via activation of alpha 2 receptors on the sympathetic terminals. This study suggests, therefore, that SMP is mediated via alpha 1-adrenergic receptors located in the affected tissue.
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6/11. Catecholamine-induced excitation of nociceptors in sympathetically maintained pain.

    Sympathetically maintained pain could either be mediated by ephaptic interactions between sympathetic efferent and afferent nociceptive fibers or by catecholamine-induced activation of nociceptive nerve endings. We report here single fiber recordings from C nociceptors in a patient with sympathetically maintained pain, in whom sympathetic blockade had repeatedly eliminated the ongoing pain in both legs. We classified eight C-fibers as mechano-responsive and six as mechano-insensitive nociceptors according to their mechanical responsiveness and activity-dependent slowing of conduction velocity (latency increase of 0.5 /-1.1 vs. 7.1 /-2.0 ms for 20 pulses at 0.125 Hz). Two C-fibers were activated with a delay of several seconds following strong endogenous sympathetic bursts; they were also excited for about 3 min following the injection of norepinephrine (10 microl, 0.05%) into their innervation territory. In these two fibers, a prolonged activation by injection of low pH solution (phosphate buffer, pH 6.0, 10 microl) and sensitization of their heat response following prostaglandin E2 injection were recorded, evidencing their afferent nature. Moreover, their activity-dependent slowing was typical for mechano-insensitive nociceptors. We conclude that sensitized mechano-insensitive nociceptors can be activated by endogenously released catecholamines and thereby may contribute to sympathetically maintained pain. No evidence for ephaptic interaction between sympathetic efferent and nociceptive afferent fibers was found.
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7/11. Chronic hyperalgesia and skin warming caused by sensitized C nociceptors.

    A patient suffering from an acquired painful syndrome, due to injury to primary somatic afferent units, was studied. Clinical features included chronic spontaneous burning pain in one hand, abnormal painful response to nonnoxious cutaneous stimuli, and deviation of temperature and dystrophic changes in symptomatic skin. Diagnostic stellate ganglion blocks did not improve spontaneous or stimulus-induced pains, and observation of sympathetic efferent neural activity and vasomotor effector responses revealed no abnormality, failing to support an autonomic contribution to the pathogenesis of the pains. A quantitative psychophysical assessment documented exaggerated magnitude of pain in response to noxious stimuli in symptomatic skin, together with abnormal painful quality and prolongation of sensation induced by nonnoxious tactile or warm stimuli. Such mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia persisted during A fibre blocks, suggesting transmission by primary afferents with unmyelinated C fibres and implying sensitization of C polymodal nociceptors. Direct microneurographic recordings of single, identified C polymodal nociceptors from symptomatic skin confirmed the presence of units with pathologically enhanced receptor responses: lowered threshold and very prolonged afterdischarges. While bypassing skin receptors, strongly intraneural microstimulation in fascicles supplying symptomatic or control skin evoked equivalent magnitudes and temporal profiles of pain from both sides. Thus secondary CNS dysfunction need not be postulated to explain the painful syndrome. skin grafted onto the affected region partially recovered tactile and thermal sensation (but not pain) without expressing the painful syndrome. This supports the overall conclusion that in this patient A fibres are not involved as primary carriers of input decoded as pain. Sensitization of C polymodal nociceptors is consistent with the features of hyperalgesia in this patient: pain evoked by nonnoxious stimuli, exaggerated pain magnitude, and abnormally prolonged aftersensation of pain. This is the first documentation of chronic sensitization of human C polymodal nociceptors as a symptom of disease. In the context of sensitized C nociceptors and in the absence of sympathetic vasoconstrictor deficit, the abnormally elevated temperature in symptomatic skin is interpreted as due to antidromic vasodilatation triggered by neurosecretion from hyperactive nociceptors.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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8/11. The natural history of acute painful neuropathy in diabetes mellitus.

    Observations have been made on nine cases of painful diabetic neuropathy of acute onset. All cases were male and all were associated with and preceded by precipitous and severe weight loss. The pain was of a continuous burning quality and experienced mainly in the legs, especially distally. Contact discomfort of the skin was often a troublesome feature, but sensory loss was mild or absent, and reflex loss or depression not invariable. There were no accompanying motor signs. depression and impotence were constant features. The weight loss responded to adequate control of the diabetes with insulin and was followed by improvement in the neuropathy. The severe manifestations subsided in all cases within 10 months, and in most cases within 6 months, and later resolved completely in all except one. No recurrences were observed after follow-up periods of up to 6 years. Abnormalities of nerve conduction were mild or even lacking. sural nerve biopsies from three cases taken in the acute stage showed evidence of active degeneration of myelinated nerve fibres of all diameters and also degeneration of unmyelinated axons. There was a mild degree of demyelination. It is concluded that acute painful diabetic neuropathy is a distinct syndrome, occurring in insulin or noninsulin dependent patients of any duration, and unrelated to other diabetic complications. It is separable from other types of painful diabetic sensory polyneuropathy that have been described.
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9/11. The triple cold syndrome. Cold hyperalgesia, cold hypoaesthesia and cold skin in peripheral nerve disease.

    A syndrome of cold hyperalgesia associated with cold hypoaesthesia is described in 28 patients with peripheral polyneuropathy or mononeuropathy of various aetiologies. A mechanism of sensory disinhibition, where diminished cold-specific A delta input releases cold pain input carried by C nociceptors, is proposed to explain the hyperalgesia. In most patients, the symptomatic skin is abnormally cold. This is a likely consequence of vasospasm, due to sympathetic denervation supersensitivity, caused by dropout of sympathetic efferents as part of the small caliber nerve fibre insult. The term 'triple cold syndrome' is coined to describe this specific pathophysiological condition. Descriptively it is a mirror image of erythralgia, as described by Sir Thomas Lewis (1936) and updated by one of the present authors, a human condition also centred around anomalous primary nociceptor input, in which there is heat hyperalgesia and hot symptomatic skin due to C nociceptor sensitization and vasodilatation from antidromic discharge. Thus, like the latter condition, the triple cold syndrome emerges as an independent clinical entity with definable abnormal mechanisms which should be retrieved out of the all-embracing, descriptive, diagnostic category 'reflex sympathetic dystrophy--causalgia'.
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10/11. Response of chronic neuropathic pain syndromes to ketamine: a preliminary study.

    Hyperactivity of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors may be one of the factors in the genesis of neuropathic pain. ketamine is an NMDA-blocking agent widely used in human medicine. ketamine (at 250 mcg/kg i.v. slow push) was administered to 6 patients for control of chronic neuropathic pain syndromes in double-blind placebo-controlled fashion. All 3 patients with peripheral nervous system (PNS) disease-related pain, and 2 of 3 patients with central pain and dysesthesia syndromes responded with a temporary decrease in the rating of ongoing pain. The allodynia, hyperalgesia and after-sensation present in 5 patients improved after the administration of ketamine. Dose-response estimation in 2 patients with PNS-related neuropathic pain revealed that ketamine was effective in dose-related fashion. Continuous subcutaneous infusion of ketamine administered to 1 patient with PNS-related neuropathic pain caused no additional improvement in pain control but caused intolerable cognitive and memory side effects. In contrast, side effects during single-dose injections were mild and well tolerated. ketamine affected the evoked pain and associated after-sensation in chronic neuropathic pain syndromes more than the ongoing constant pain.
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