This article describes the methods and results of the early part (experimental pain tests and postoperative analgesia) of a study that assesses genetic and other factors related to acute pain and persistent pain after treatment of breast cancer in a prospective cohort of 1,000 women.

One thousand consenting patients were recruited to the study. Before surgery (breast resection or mastectomy with axillary surgery), the patients filled in questionnaires about health, life style, depression (Beck Depression Inventory), and anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). They were also exposed to experimental tests measuring heat (43° and 48°C, 5 s) and cold (2-4°C) pain intensity and tolerance. Anesthesia was standardized with propofol and remifentanil, and postoperative analgesia was optimized with i.v. oxycodone.

The patients showed significant interindividual variation in heat and cold pain sensitivity and cold pain tolerance. There was a strong correlation between the experimental pain measures across the tests. Presence of chronic pain, the number of previous operations, and particularly state anxiety were related to increased pain sensitivity. Previous smoking correlated with decreased heat pain sensitivity. These factors explained 4-5% of the total variance in pain sensitivity in these tests. Oxycodone consumption during 20 h was significantly higher in patients who had axillary clearance. Oxycodone consumption had only a weak correlation with the experimental pain measures.

Contact heat and cold pressure tests identify variability in pain sensitivity which is modified by factors such as anxiety, chronic pain, previous surgery, and smoking. High levels of anxiety are connected to increased pain sensitivity in experimental and acute postoperative pain.In a study of 1,000 women undergoing breast surgery for cancer, a small portion of the variance in preoperative response to noxious heat and cold testing could be explained by anxiety, the presence of chronic pain, and the number of previous operations. There was a weak correlation between response to experimental pain testing and acute postoperative pain, with largely similar predictive factors across both.
Sidor (från-till)1410-1421
Antal sidor12
StatusPublicerad - dec. 2013
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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