Dysfunction in Multiple Primary Afferent Fiber Subtypes Revealed By Quantitative Sensory Testing in Patients with Chronic Vincristine-Induced Pain

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Abstract

Vincristine is one of the frontline chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of numerous lymphoid neoplasias. The main dose-limiting complication of vincristine is the development of painful peripheral neuropathy. Although clinical reports have appeared in the literature detailing the symptoms of vincristine neuropathy, quantitative sensory testing data that might yield insight to dysfunction in subsets of primary afferents are lacking. In this report, pain descriptors and anatomical distributions of sensory abnormalities were collected in each patient. Touch detection threshold, sharpness detection threshold, the thresholds for the detection of skin warming, heat pain, skin cooling, and the perception of cooling-induced pain were measured in patients with chronic vincristine-induced pain in each area of sensory abnormality and in skin perceived as outside the affected areas. Elevated touch detection thresholds were observed both within and outside areas affected by pain and sensory abnormality. Elevated sharpness and warm detection thresholds were noted only in areas affected by pain. These data suggest that chronic vincristine-induced pain is associated with dysfunction in Aβ, Aδ, and C caliber primary afferent fibers. Deficits in Aβ fibers appear to precede and presage deficits in the other fiber types, whereas deficits in Aδ- and C-fiber function appear to be specifically associated with the generation of pain. © 2007 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee.

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Dougherty, P. M., Cata, J. P., Burton, A. W., Vu, K., & Weng, H. R. (2007). Dysfunction in Multiple Primary Afferent Fiber Subtypes Revealed By Quantitative Sensory Testing in Patients with Chronic Vincristine-Induced Pain. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 33(2), 166–179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2006.08.006

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