Characterization of Patients With and Without Painful Peripheral Neuropathy After Receiving Neurotoxic Chemotherapy: Traditional Quantitative Sensory Testing vs C-Fiber and Aδ-Fiber Selective Diode Laser Stimulation

Mikhail I. Nemenov, Harutyun Alaverdyan, Carrie Burk, Kristen Roles, Karen Frey, Yan Yan, Gene Kazinets, Simon Haroutounian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Painful chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common complication of chemotherapy with drugs such as taxanes and platinum compounds. Currently, no methods are available for early detection of sensory changes that are associated with painful CIPN, nor are there biomarkers that are specific to painful CIPN. This study aimed to compare Diode Laser fiber type-selective stimulator (DLss), a method to selectively stimulate cutaneous C and Aδ fibers, to traditional quantitative sensory testing (QST) in determining psychophysical differences between patients with painful CIPN and a control group. Sensory testing was performed on the dorsal mid-foot of 20 patients with painful neuropathy after taxane- or platinum-based chemotherapy, and 20 patients who received similar neurotoxic chemotherapy, without painful CIPN. In a multivariable analysis, C-fiber to Aδ fiber detection threshold ratio, measured by DLss, was significantly different between the groups (P <.05). While QST parameters such as warmth detection threshold were different between the groups in univariate analyses, these findings were likely attributable to group differences in patient age and cumulative chemotherapy dose. Perspective: In this study, fiber-specific DLss test showed potential in identifying sensory changes that are specific for painful neuropathy, encouraging future testing of this approach as a biomarker for early detection of painful CIPN. Trial registration: The study was approved by the Washington University Institutional Review Board (#201807162) and registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03687970).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-809
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pain
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • DLss stimulation
  • QST
  • neuropathic pain
  • painful CIPN
  • peripheral neuropathy

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