[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rationale
Pain-related anxiety and depression are well known to be comorbid with chronic pain and adversely affect patient quality of life. Recent studies have shown that anxiety-like behaviors also develop with acute surgical pain, but the effects of general anesthetics on acute pain-related anxiety are unknown.
The present study aimed to compare the effects of different general anesthetics on anxiety-like behaviors that follow formalin-induced acute pain in a rat model.
Formalin-induced acute inflammatory pain was established by intraplantar injection of 1 % formalin without anesthesia or with anesthesia using the clinical anesthetics sevoflurane, propofol, or pentobarbital sodium. Anxiety-like behaviors were studied using the open-field test and elevated plus maze. Phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK) 1/2 expression in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and spinal cord was examined using immunohistochemistry.
Anxiety-like behaviors were observed at 24 and 72 h post-formalin injection. Concomitantly, p-ERK 1/2 expression was upregulated in the ACC at 1 and 24 h post-formalin injection. While all three general anesthetics effectively blocked nociceptive responses and activation of ERK in the rat ACC following formalin injection during anesthesia, only sevoflurane inhibited ERK activation in the spinal cord and ACC at 24 h post-injection.
This study suggests that sevoflurane, but not intravenous anesthetics, inhibits pain-related anxiety, along with ERK activation in the ACC, probably through inhibition of spinal nociceptive transmission. Intraoperative application of inhaled anesthetics may be a better choice to reduce postoperative anxiety.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Remifentanil, an ultra-short-acting opioid, is widely used for pain control during surgery. However, regular dose (RD) remifentanil exacerbates postoperative pain in a dose-dependent manner. Recent studies suggest that high-dose (HD) remifentanil offers sustained analgesia in experimental studies. We thus hypothesized that intraoperative administration of high-dose remifentanil may attenuate postoperative pain.
In this prospective, randomized, double blind, controlled clinical study, sixty patients undergoing thyroidectomy (18-60 years-of-age) received an intraoperative infusion of 0.2 (RD group) or 1.2 μg kg-1min-1 (HD group) remifentanil during thyroidectomy. A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to measure pain intensity. Mechanical pain threshold on the forearm was assessed using von Frey filaments before surgery (baseline), 2 h postoperatively and 18-24 h postoperatively. The primary outcome was to compare the difference of VAS score at different time points after operation and morphine consumption 24 h postoperatively between RD and HD groups. The second outcome was to compare the difference of mechanical pain thresholds in the forearm postoperatively between RD and the HD groups.
VAS scores were lower 30 min postoperatively in the HD group (1.29±1.67, 95% CI 0.64-1.94) compared with the RD group (2.21±1.67, 95% CI 1.57-2.84) (t = 3.427, p = 0.0043, RD group vs. HD group). Postoperative morphine consumption was much lower in the HD group compared with the RD group (1.27±1.88 mg vs. 0.35±1.25 mg, p = 0.033). In both groups, mechanical pain threshold was decreased 18-24 h postoperatively (2.93±0.209 Ln(g) vs. 3.454±2.072 Ln(g), p = 0.032 in RD group; 2.910±0.196 Ln(g) vs. 3.621±0.198 Ln(g), p = 0.006 in HD group, 18-24 h postoperatively vs baseline).
Intraoperative administration of high-dose remifentanil decreased VAS scores and morphine consumption postoperatively. Thus, modulation of intraoperative opiates may be a simple and effective method of postoperative pain management.
This trial is registered in ClinicalTrials.gov, with the Name: Effect of Higher Doses of Remifentanil on Postoperative Pain in Patients Undergoing Thyroidectomy, and ID number: NCT01761149.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracellular signal‑regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 in the spinal cord has been implicated in the development of neuropathic pain and inflammatory pain. However, a limited number of studies have investigated the role of spinal ERK in incisional pain. The present study aimed to determine the role of ERK in the spinal cord in incisional pain. Incisional pain was established in rats by a unilateral hind paw incision. ERK1/2 expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Hypersensitivity to pain was evaluated by measuring the paw withdrawal threshold using the von Frey test. The mitogen‑activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor, U0126, was administered 20 min prior to or 10 min following the incision by intrathecal or intraperitoneal injection. Phosphorylated ERK1/2 in the ipsilateral L4‑5 spinal superficial dorsal horn was activated 1 min following the incision, reached its peak level at 5 min and then returned to the basal level 20 min following the incision. Pretreatment, but not post‑treatment with U0126 markedly attenuated the pain hypersensitivity induced by the incision. Therefore, the present study indicates that the transient activation of spinal ERK1/2 contributes to the initiation of pain hypersensitivity following surgical incision.
Preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Molecular Medicine Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a previous study, we showed that a deep thoracic incision induces the segmental upregulation of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in the spinal cord. However, whether the cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are also activated in response to surgical incision remains to be determined. The present study aimed to investigate the expression pattern of TNF-α and IL-6 in the spinal cord following a deep thoracic incision. After surgical incision, the mRNA levels of TNF-α and IL-6 in the thoracic spinal cord were transiently upregulated as determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. However, the activation of IL-6 was detected at 1 h postoperatively, which was earlier compared to that of TNF-α, observed at 6 h postoperatively. The activated TNF-α was mainly localized in the neurons, but not in microglia or astrocytes as determined by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. However, the increased IL-6-immunoreactivity was mainly expressed in blood vessels. The differential upregulation of TNF-α and IL-6 induced by incision suggests that the proinflammatory cytokines may play different roles in the development of surgical pain.
Preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Molecular Medicine Reports