A model for measuring temporal summation (TS) by tonic noxious stimulation was recently proposed. However, methodological variations between studies make it difficult to reach a consensus regarding the way TS should be applied and calculated. The present study aimed to present a calculation method of TS magnitude produced by a tonic heat model in a large cohort of healthy subjects.
Noxious heat stimulation (46.5°C/2 minutes) was applied to the forearm of 154 subjects who continuously rated pain intensity using a computerized visual analog scale. TS was calculated by “mean group” and “individual” approaches.
A “typical” pattern of pain response, characterized by a peak pain followed by a decrease in intensity to a nadir and subsequently a progressive increase in pain scores, was exhibited by 86.4% of the subjects. Using the “mean group” and “individual” calculation approaches, the mean ± standard deviation magnitudes of TS were 31.4±27.5 and 41.0±26.0, respectively ( P<0.001). Additionally, using the individualized approach, we identified a different (“atypical”) response pattern among the rest of the subjects (13.6%).