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The analgesic effect of intravenous methylprednisolone on acute neuropathic pain with allodynia due to central cord syndrome: a retrospective study

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      Abstract

      Background

      Central cord syndrome (CCS) may be associated with severe neuropathic pain that often resists to conventional pain therapy regimens and affects the patients’ quality of life (QoL) seriously. Current treatments for CCS-associated neuropathic pain have limited evidence of efficacy. This retrospective study was performed to present the effects of early treatment with methylprednisolone (MP) on acute neuropathic pain relief and the QoL in CCS patients.

      Patients and methods

      Data were collected from the medical records of CCS patients who suffered from acute neuropathic pain with allodynia. All the patients received intravenous MP treatment for up to 1 week. Patients were evaluated with standard measures of efficacy: neuropathic pain intensity, the area of allodynia, and the QoL at baseline, daily treatment, and at 1 and 3 months after the end of MP treatment.

      Results

      Thirty-four eligible patients were enrolled in our study. By the end of MP treatment, the proportion of patients who gained total or major (visual analog scale [VAS] score decreased by 50% or more) allodynia relief from the treatment was 91.18%, and a decrease in spontaneous pain was also observed. Moreover, this study showed MP could significantly improve the QoL of patients based on McGill Pain Questionnaire Short Form and EuroQol Five Dimensions Questionnaire. Four patients (11.76%) during MP treatment experienced mild or moderate side effects. None of the patients manifested CCS-associated neuropathic pain recurrence and MP-associated side effects at follow-up.

      Conclusion

      The current results suggested that MP offered an effective therapeutic alternative for relieving CCS-associated acute neuropathic pain with allodynia. Given the encouraging results of this study, it would be worthwhile to confirm these results in randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 46

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      Pharmacotherapy for neuropathic pain in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

      New drug treatments, clinical trials, and standards of quality for assessment of evidence justify an update of evidence-based recommendations for the pharmacological treatment of neuropathic pain. Using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE), we revised the Special Interest Group on Neuropathic Pain (NeuPSIG) recommendations for the pharmacotherapy of neuropathic pain based on the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis.
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        Administration of methylprednisolone for 24 or 48 hours or tirilazad mesylate for 48 hours in the treatment of acute spinal cord injury. Results of the Third National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Randomized Controlled Trial. National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study.

        To compare the efficacy of methylprednisolone administered for 24 hours with methyprednisolone administered for 48 hours or tirilazad mesylate administered for 48 hours in patients with acute spinal cord injury. Double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Sixteen acute spinal cord injury centers in North America. A total of 499 patients with acute spinal cord injury diagnosed in National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study (NASCIS) centers within 8 hours of injury. All patients received an intravenous bolus of methylprednisolone (30 mg/kg) before randomization. Patients in the 24-hour regimen group (n=166) received a methylprednisolone infusion of 5.4 mg/kg per hour for 24 hours, those in the 48-hour regimen group (n=167) received a methylprednisolone infusion of 5.4 mg/kg per hour for 48 hours, and those in the tirilazad group (n=166) received a 2.5 mg/kg bolus infusion of tirilazad mesylate every 6 hours for 48 hours. Motor function change between initial presentation and at 6 weeks and 6 months after injury, and change in Functional Independence Measure (FIM) assessed at 6 weeks and 6 months. Compared with patients treated with methylprednisolone for 24 hours, those treated with methylprednisolone for 48 hours showed improved motor recovery at 6 weeks (P=.09) and 6 months (P=.07) after injury. The effect of the 48-hour methylprednisolone regimen was significant at 6 weeks (P=.04) and 6 months (P=.01) among patients whose therapy was initiated 3 to 8 hours after injury. Patients who received the 48-hour regimen and who started treatment at 3 to 8 hours were more likely to improve 1 full neurologic grade (P=.03) at 6 months, to show more improvement in 6-month FIM (P=.08), and to have more severe sepsis and severe pneumonia than patients in the 24-hour methylprednisolone group and the tirilazad group, but other complications and mortality (P=.97) were similar. Patients treated with tirilazad for 48 hours showed motor recovery rates equivalent to patients who received methylprednisolone for 24 hours. Patients with acute spinal cord injury who receive methylprednisolone within 3 hours of injury should be maintained on the treatment regimen for 24 hours. When methylprednisolone is initiated 3 to 8 hours after injury, patients should be maintained on steroid therapy for 48 hours.
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          Morphine, gabapentin, or their combination for neuropathic pain.

          The available drugs to treat neuropathic pain have incomplete efficacy and dose-limiting adverse effects. We compared the efficacy of a combination of gabapentin and morphine with that of each as a single agent in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy or postherpetic neuralgia. In this randomized, double-blind, active placebo-controlled, four-period crossover trial, patients received daily active placebo (lorazepam), sustained-release morphine, gabapentin, and a combination of gabapentin and morphine--each given orally for five weeks. The primary outcome measure was mean daily pain intensity in patients receiving a maximal tolerated dose; secondary outcomes included pain (rated according to the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire), adverse effects, maximal tolerated doses, mood, and quality of life. Of 57 patients who underwent randomization (35 with diabetic neuropathy and 22 with postherpetic neuralgia), 41 completed the trial. Mean daily pain (on a scale from 0 to 10, with higher numbers indicating more severe pain) at a maximal tolerated dose of the study drug was as follows: 5.72 at baseline, 4.49 with placebo, 4.15 with gabapentin, 3.70 with morphine, and 3.06 with the gabapentin-morphine combination (P<0.05 for the combination vs. placebo, gabapentin, and morphine). Total scores on the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (on a scale from 0 to 45, with higher numbers indicating more severe pain) at a maximal tolerated dose were 14.4 with placebo, 10.7 with gabapentin, 10.7 with morphine, and 7.5 with the gabapentin-morphine combination (P<0.05 for the combination vs. placebo, gabapentin, and morphine). The maximal tolerated doses of morphine and gabapentin were lower (P<0.05) with the combination than for each drug as single agent. At the maximal tolerated dose, the gabapentin-morphine combination resulted in a higher frequency of constipation than gabapentin alone (P<0.05) and a higher frequency of dry mouth than morphine alone (P<0.05). Gabapentin and morphine combined achieved better analgesia at lower doses of each drug than either as a single agent, with constipation, sedation, and dry mouth as the most frequent adverse effects. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Orthopaedics Surgery, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China, xueyuanzyy@ 123456163.com
            [2 ]Department of Histology and Embryology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China
            [3 ]Department of Orthopaedics Surgery, Tianjin Metabolic Diseases Hospital & Tianjin Institution of Endocrinology, Tianjin, China
            [4 ]Key Lab of Hormones and Development (National Health and Family Planning Commission of the PRC), Tianjin Key Laboratory of Metabolic Diseases, Tianjin, China
            Author notes
            Correspondence: Yuan Xue, Department of Orthopaedics Surgery, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, No 154 Anshan Road, Heping District, Tianjin 300052, China, Tel +86 22 6081 4688, Fax +86 22 2721 9052, Email xueyuanzyy@ 123456163.com
            Journal
            J Pain Res
            J Pain Res
            Journal of Pain Research
            Journal of Pain Research
            Dove Medical Press
            1178-7090
            2018
            25 June 2018
            : 11
            : 1231-1238
            6025778 10.2147/JPR.S160463 jpr-11-1231
            © 2018 Li et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

            The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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            Original Research

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