Quantitative sensory testing of neuropathic pain patients: potential mechanistic and therapeutic implications
Current Pain and Headache Reports, 05/03/2012
Pfau DB et al. – The use of quantitative sensory testing (QST) in individual patients for diagnostic purposes leading to individualized therapy is an interesting concept, but needs further validation.Methods
- Quantitative sensory testing (QST) is a widely accepted tool to investigate somatosensory changes in pain patients.
- Many different protocols have been developed in clinical pain research within recent years.
- In this review, authors provide an overview of QST and tested neuroanatomical pathways, including peripheral and central structures.
- Based on research studies using animal and human surrogate models of neuropathic pain, possible underlying mechanisms of chronic pain are discussed.
- Clinically, QST may be useful for
- The identification of subgroups of patients with different underlying pain mechanisms;
- Prediction of therapeutic outcomes;
- And quantification of therapeutic interventions in pain therapy.
- Combined with sensory mapping, QST may provide useful information on the site of neural damage and on mechanisms of positive and negative somatosensory abnormalities.