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Improving the acquisition of nociceptive evoked potentials without causing more pain


Kramer, John L K; Haefeli, Jenny; Jutzeler, Catherine R; Steeves, John D; Curt, Armin (2013). Improving the acquisition of nociceptive evoked potentials without causing more pain. Pain, 154(2):235-241.

Abstract

Following nociceptive heat or laser stimulation, an early contralateral and later vertex potential can be recorded. Although more indicative of the nociceptive input, the acquisition of the contralateral N1 after contact heat stimulation (contact heat-evoked potentials [CHEPs]) remains difficult. An advantage of contact heat is that the baseline skin temperature preceding peak stimulation can be controlled. Increasing the baseline temperature may represent a novel strategy to improve the acquisition of CHEPs without resulting in more subjective pain to stimulation. A study was undertaken in 23 healthy subjects to examine the effects of increasing the baseline temperature but not the perceived intensity of contact heat stimulation. A combined standard averaging and single-trial analysis was performed to disclose how changes in averaged waveforms related to latency jitter and individual trial amplitudes. By increasing the baseline temperature, the acquisition of N1 was improved among subjects with a low-amplitude response (greater than -4μV) following 35°C baseline temperature stimulation (P<.05). Based on standard averaging, N2/P2 amplitudes were also significantly increased with and without an accompanying change in the rating of perceived pain when the baseline temperature was increased (P<.05). In contrast, automated single-trial averaging revealed no significant difference in N2 amplitude when the baseline temperature was increased to 42°C and the peak temperature reduced. These findings suggest that 2 mechanisms underlie the improved acquisition of CHEPs: increased synchronization of afferent volley, yielding larger-amplitude evoked potentials in response to the same rating of intensity; and reduced inter-trial variability.

Abstract

Following nociceptive heat or laser stimulation, an early contralateral and later vertex potential can be recorded. Although more indicative of the nociceptive input, the acquisition of the contralateral N1 after contact heat stimulation (contact heat-evoked potentials [CHEPs]) remains difficult. An advantage of contact heat is that the baseline skin temperature preceding peak stimulation can be controlled. Increasing the baseline temperature may represent a novel strategy to improve the acquisition of CHEPs without resulting in more subjective pain to stimulation. A study was undertaken in 23 healthy subjects to examine the effects of increasing the baseline temperature but not the perceived intensity of contact heat stimulation. A combined standard averaging and single-trial analysis was performed to disclose how changes in averaged waveforms related to latency jitter and individual trial amplitudes. By increasing the baseline temperature, the acquisition of N1 was improved among subjects with a low-amplitude response (greater than -4μV) following 35°C baseline temperature stimulation (P<.05). Based on standard averaging, N2/P2 amplitudes were also significantly increased with and without an accompanying change in the rating of perceived pain when the baseline temperature was increased (P<.05). In contrast, automated single-trial averaging revealed no significant difference in N2 amplitude when the baseline temperature was increased to 42°C and the peak temperature reduced. These findings suggest that 2 mechanisms underlie the improved acquisition of CHEPs: increased synchronization of afferent volley, yielding larger-amplitude evoked potentials in response to the same rating of intensity; and reduced inter-trial variability.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:31 Jan 2013 09:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:26
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0304-3959
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2012.10.027
PubMed ID:23218174

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