Article

The intravenous ketamine test predicts subsequent response to an oral dextromethorphan treatment regimen in fibromyalgia patients.

Pain Management Division, Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.
Journal of Pain (Impact Factor: 4.22). 06/2006; 7(6):391-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2005.12.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fibromyalgia (FM) is a challenging pain syndrome for which no reliable pharmacologic treatment exists. Recent clinical studies suggest that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors might play a role in the pathogenesis of this disorder. To determine whether an intravenous (IV) ketamine test predicts the response to a therapeutic trial with an oral N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, we performed a low-dose (0.1 mg/kg) IV ketamine infusion on 34 consecutive patients with FM, which was subsequently followed by an oral dextromethorphan (DX) treatment regimen. As per previous guidelines, the cutoff value for a positive response to the IV ketamine test was designated to be 67% pain relief, and a positive response to DX treatment was 50% pain reduction at 4- to 6-week follow-up visits. The degree of correlation between pain relief with ketamine and DX was highly significant (Pearson correlation coefficient, 0.66; P < .001). Ten patients responded positively to both ketamine and DX, 19 responded to neither drug, 3 had a positive response to ketamine but not DX, and 2 obtained good pain relief with DX but not ketamine. The sensitivity of the IV ketamine test was 83%, the specificity was 86%, the positive predictive value was 77%, and the negative predictive value was 91%. An association was also found between the development of side effects to the two treatments. PERSPECTIVE: The response to an IV ketamine infusion was found to predict the subsequent response to an oral dextromethorphan treatment regimen in fibromyalgia patients, with an observed agreement of 83%. Considering the refractory nature of fibromyalgia to conventional pain treatments, the IV ketamine test might enhance patient care by saving time and reducing unnecessary treatment trials.

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