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New and low-cost auto-algometry for screening hypertension-associated hypoalgesia.

Research paper by Andrea A Viggiano, Nicola N Zagaria, Maria Beatrice MB Passavanti, Maria Caterina MC Pace, Antonella A Paladini, Caterina C Aurilio, Michele Adolfo MA Tedesco, Francesco F Natale, Raffaele R Calabrò, Marcellino M Monda, Elena E De Luca

Indexed on: 06 Jun '09Published on: 06 Jun '09Published in: Pain Practice



Abstract

The aim of the present work was to measure the pain threshold in hypertensive patients with a new auto-algometry method.Auto-algometry consists of asking the subjects to push their fingers against a fixed round-tip needle until they feel a pain sensation. An electronic force transducer permits the measurement of the force applied by the subjects and storage of the data on a personal computer. Eight tests are performed twice on each subject on the tip and back of four fingers. For each test, the maximal applied force (grams) is defined as pain threshold. The overall discomfort during the entire procedure is reported by the subjects on a 0 (no discomfort) to 10 (intolerable pain) scale.A group of hypertensive patients (n = 22) and a group of normotensive subjects (n = 22) underwent the auto-algometry examination.The pain threshold was higher in hypertensive patients compared with normotensive subjects. All discomfort scores referred by the subjects fell within the 4-6 range.The data obtained from this study indicate that the auto-algometer as described here can detect hypoalgesia associated with hypertension.