Psychophysical and electrophysiological responses to experimental pain may be influenced by sedation: comparison of the effects of a hypnotic (propofol) and an analgesic (alfentanil).

Petersen-Felix, S.; Arendt-Nielsen, L.; Bak, P.; Fischer, M.; Zbinden, A. M. (1996). Psychophysical and electrophysiological responses to experimental pain may be influenced by sedation: comparison of the effects of a hypnotic (propofol) and an analgesic (alfentanil). British journal of anaesthesia, 77(2), pp. 165-171. Oxford University Press 10.1093/bja/77.2.165

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Sedation may influence the responses of some experimental pain models used to test analgesic efficacy. In this study we compared the effects of a sedative (propofol) and analgesic (alfentanil) on: nociceptive reflex to single and repeated electrical stimulations; mechanical pressure pain; and evoked potentials elicited by nociceptive (electrical and laser) and non-nociceptive (acoustical) stimulation. We studied 12 healthy volunteers with two subanaesthetic concentrations of propofol and two analgesic concentrations of alfentanil. Both propofol and alfentanil increased the threshold for nociceptive reflex to single electrical stimulations, but only alfentanil increased the threshold for nociceptive reflex to repeated electrical stimulations. The pressure pain tolerance thresholds were increased significantly by alfentanil, whereas propofol significantly decreased the thresholds (hyperalgesia). Propofol and alfentanil induced similar reductions in the amplitudes of the evoked potentials elicited by nociceptive (electrical and laser) and non-nociceptive (acoustical) stimulation, whereas only alfentanil reduced the perceived pain to nociceptive stimulations. We have shown that sedation can influence both the psychophysical and electrophysiological responses of some experimental pain tests used to measure analgesic efficacy, and that propofol in subhypnotic doses, has no analgesic effect on painful electrical and heat stimulations, but has a hyperalgesic effect on mechanical pressure pain.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic and Policlinic for Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy

UniBE Contributor:

Petersen, Steen and Zbinden, Alex Martin

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0007-0912

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marceline Brodmann

Date Deposited:

30 Sep 2020 19:08

Last Modified:

30 Sep 2020 19:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/bja/77.2.165

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.115643

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/115643

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