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Predicting drug efficacy in chronic low back pain by quantitative sensory tests


Schliessbach, J; Siegenthaler, A; Bütikofer, L; Vuilleumier, P; Jüni, P; Stamer, U; Arendt-Nielsen, L; Curatolo, M (2018). Predicting drug efficacy in chronic low back pain by quantitative sensory tests. European Journal of Pain, 22(5):973-988.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Drugs are prescribed for chronic low back pain without knowing in advance whether a patient will respond to them or not. Quantitative sensory tests (QST) can discriminate patients according to sensory phenotype, possibly reflecting underlying mechanisms of pain processing. QST may therefore be a screening tool to identify potential responders to a certain drug. The aim of this study was to investigate whether QST can predict analgesic effects of oxycodone, imipramine and clobazam in chronic low back pain. METHODS Oxycodone 15 mg (n = 50), imipramine 75 mg (n = 50) and clobazam 20 mg (n = 49) were compared to active placebo tolterodine 1 mg in a randomized, double-blinded, crossover fashion. Electrical, pressure and thermal QST were performed at baseline and after 1 and 2 h. Pain intensity was assessed on a 0-10 numeric rating scale every 30 min for up to 2 h. The ability of baseline QST to predict pain reduction after 2 h was analysed using linear mixed models. Genetic variants of drug-metabolizing enzymes and genes affecting pain sensitivity were examined as covariables. RESULTS No predictor of analgesic effect was found for oxycodone and clobazam. Thermal QST was associated with analgesic effect of imipramine: patients more sensitive to heat or cold were more likely to experience an effect of imipramine. Pharmacogenetic variants and pain-related candidate genes were not associated with drug efficacy. CONCLUSIONS Thermal QST have the potential to predict imipramine effect in chronic low back pain. Oxycodone and clobazam effects could not be predicted by any of the selected QST or genetic variants. SIGNIFICANCE Predicting drug efficacy in chronic low back pain remains difficult. There is some evidence that patients more sensitive to heat and cold pain respond better to imipramine.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Drugs are prescribed for chronic low back pain without knowing in advance whether a patient will respond to them or not. Quantitative sensory tests (QST) can discriminate patients according to sensory phenotype, possibly reflecting underlying mechanisms of pain processing. QST may therefore be a screening tool to identify potential responders to a certain drug. The aim of this study was to investigate whether QST can predict analgesic effects of oxycodone, imipramine and clobazam in chronic low back pain. METHODS Oxycodone 15 mg (n = 50), imipramine 75 mg (n = 50) and clobazam 20 mg (n = 49) were compared to active placebo tolterodine 1 mg in a randomized, double-blinded, crossover fashion. Electrical, pressure and thermal QST were performed at baseline and after 1 and 2 h. Pain intensity was assessed on a 0-10 numeric rating scale every 30 min for up to 2 h. The ability of baseline QST to predict pain reduction after 2 h was analysed using linear mixed models. Genetic variants of drug-metabolizing enzymes and genes affecting pain sensitivity were examined as covariables. RESULTS No predictor of analgesic effect was found for oxycodone and clobazam. Thermal QST was associated with analgesic effect of imipramine: patients more sensitive to heat or cold were more likely to experience an effect of imipramine. Pharmacogenetic variants and pain-related candidate genes were not associated with drug efficacy. CONCLUSIONS Thermal QST have the potential to predict imipramine effect in chronic low back pain. Oxycodone and clobazam effects could not be predicted by any of the selected QST or genetic variants. SIGNIFICANCE Predicting drug efficacy in chronic low back pain remains difficult. There is some evidence that patients more sensitive to heat and cold pain respond better to imipramine.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Anesthesiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Language:German
Date:May 2018
Deposited On:28 Nov 2018 15:15
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 08:07
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1090-3801
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.1183
PubMed ID:29363217

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