Acid-induced experimental muscle pain and hyperalgesia with single and repeated infusion in human forearm

Kelun Wang*, Yi Luo, Toshiyuki Asaki, Thomas Graven-Nielsen, Brian E. Cairns, Thomas Arendt-Nielsen, Lars Arendt-Nielsen


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Background and purpose: Acid has long been thought to play an important role in the pain process. Animal study showed that repeated acid stimulation induced central sensitization. The purpose of the study is to investigate muscle pain and hyperalgesia evoked by intramuscular infusion of saline at different pH levels, and to compare the effect of a single versus repeated acid infusions. Methods: Twenty healthy subjects received infusions of buffered saline (pH 5.0, 6.0, and 7.4) into the brachioradialis muscle in a randomized order. Twelve of the subjects received repeated infusions. The subjects rated the pain intensity on visual analogue scale (VAS). Thermal pain sensitivity, and pressure pain threshold (PPT) were assessed in both arm before, during, immediately after, one hour after, and one day after the infusion. A McGill Pain Questionnaire and pain mapping were completed after each infusion. Results: The pH 5 solution caused significantly higher pain and larger areas than pH 6.0 or 7.4. The local PPTs were significantly decreased (hyperalgesia) during and immediately after infusion of all three solutions. No significant differences were detected between the first and second infusion. Conclusions: The intensity of acid-induced muscle pain is pH-dependent. All three solutions induced pressure hyperalgesia at the infusion site. Repeated infusions did not induce increased pain or prolonged hyperalgesia as compared with a single injection. Human intramuscular acidic saline infusion could not produce chronic pain model. Implications: The acid-induced pain model may reflect the early stage responses to tissue injury of clinical conditions. Repeated intramuscular acidic saline injection model of prolonged hyperalgesia in rodents could not be translated into a human for modelling chronic musculoskeletal pain.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Pain
Sider (fra-til)260-266
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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