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      Endogenous Opioid Antagonism in Physiological Experimental Pain Models: A Systematic Review

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          Opioid antagonists are pharmacological tools applied as an indirect measure to detect activation of the endogenous opioid system (EOS) in experimental pain models. The objective of this systematic review was to examine the effect of mu-opioid-receptor (MOR) antagonists in placebo-controlled, double-blind studies using ʻinhibitoryʼ or ʻsensitizingʼ, physiological test paradigms in healthy human subjects. The databases PubMed and Embase were searched according to predefined criteria. Out of a total of 2,142 records, 63 studies (1,477 subjects [male/female ratio = 1.5]) were considered relevant. Twenty-five studies utilized ʻinhibitoryʼ test paradigms (ITP) and 38 studies utilized ʻsensitizingʼ test paradigms (STP). The ITP-studies were characterized as conditioning modulation models (22 studies) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation models (rTMS; 3 studies), and, the STP-studies as secondary hyperalgesia models (6 studies), ʻpainʼ models (25 studies), summation models (2 studies), nociceptive reflex models (3 studies) and miscellaneous models (2 studies). A consistent reversal of analgesia by a MOR-antagonist was demonstrated in 10 of the 25 ITP-studies, including stress-induced analgesia and rTMS. In the remaining 14 conditioning modulation studies either absence of effects or ambiguous effects by MOR-antagonists, were observed. In the STP-studies, no effect of the opioid-blockade could be demonstrated in 5 out of 6 secondary hyperalgesia studies. The direction of MOR-antagonist dependent effects upon pain ratings, threshold assessments and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP), did not appear consistent in 28 out of 32 ʻpainʼ model studies. In conclusion, only in 2 experimental human pain models, i.e., stress-induced analgesia and rTMS, administration of MOR-antagonist demonstrated a consistent effect, presumably mediated by an EOS-dependent mechanisms of analgesia and hyperalgesia.

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          SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models.

          Researchers often conduct mediation analysis in order to indirectly assess the effect of a proposed cause on some outcome through a proposed mediator. The utility of mediation analysis stems from its ability to go beyond the merely descriptive to a more functional understanding of the relationships among variables. A necessary component of mediation is a statistically and practically significant indirect effect. Although mediation hypotheses are frequently explored in psychological research, formal significance tests of indirect effects are rarely conducted. After a brief overview of mediation, we argue the importance of directly testing the significance of indirect effects and provide SPSS and SAS macros that facilitate estimation of the indirect effect with a normal theory approach and a bootstrap approach to obtaining confidence intervals, as well as the traditional approach advocated by Baron and Kenny (1986). We hope that this discussion and the macros will enhance the frequency of formal mediation tests in the psychology literature. Electronic copies of these macros may be downloaded from the Psychonomic Society's Web archive at www.psychonomic.org/archive/.
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            Prediction of chronic post-operative pain: pre-operative DNIC testing identifies patients at risk.

            Surgical and medical procedures, mainly those associated with nerve injuries, may lead to chronic persistent pain. Currently, one cannot predict which patients undergoing such procedures are 'at risk' to develop chronic pain. We hypothesized that the endogenous analgesia system is key to determining the pattern of handling noxious events, and therefore testing diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC) will predict susceptibility to develop chronic post-thoracotomy pain (CPTP). Pre-operative psychophysical tests, including DNIC assessment (pain reduction during exposure to another noxious stimulus at remote body area), were conducted in 62 patients, who were followed 29.0+/-16.9 weeks after thoracotomy. Logistic regression revealed that pre-operatively assessed DNIC efficiency and acute post-operative pain intensity were two independent predictors for CPTP. Efficient DNIC predicted lower risk of CPTP, with OR 0.52 (0.33-0.77 95% CI, p=0.0024), i.e., a 10-point numerical pain scale (NPS) reduction halves the chance to develop chronic pain. Higher acute pain intensity indicated OR of 1.80 (1.28-2.77, p=0.0024) predicting nearly a double chance to develop chronic pain for each 10-point increase. The other psychophysical measures, pain thresholds and supra-threshold pain magnitudes, did not predict CPTP. For prediction of acute post-operative pain intensity, DNIC efficiency was not found significant. Effectiveness of the endogenous analgesia system obtained at a pain-free state, therefore, seems to reflect the individual's ability to tackle noxious events, identifying patients 'at risk' to develop post-intervention chronic pain. Applying this diagnostic approach before procedures that might generate pain may allow individually tailored pain prevention and management, which may substantially reduce suffering.
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              The CONSORT statement: revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallel-group randomized trials.

              To comprehend the results of a randomized, controlled trial (RCT), readers must understand its design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation. That goal can be achieved only through complete transparency from authors. Despite several decades of educational efforts, the reporting of RCTs needs improvement. Investigators and editors developed the original CONSORT (Con solidated S tandards o f R eporting T rials) statement to help authors improve reporting by using a checklist and flow diagram. The revised CONSORT statement presented in this paper incorporates new evidence and addresses some criticisms of the original statement. The checklist items pertain to the content of the Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. The revised checklist includes 22 items selected because empirical evidence indicates that not reporting the information is associated with biased estimates of treatment effect or because the information is essential to judge the reliability or relevance of the findings. We intended the flow diagram to depict the passage of participants through an RCT. The revised flow diagram depicts information from four stages of a trial (enrollment, intervention allocation, follow-up, and analysis). The diagram explicitly includes the number of participants, for each intervention group, that are included in the primary data analysis. Inclusion of these numbers allows the reader to judge whether the authors have performed an intention-to-treat analysis. In sum, the CONSORT statement is intended to improve the reporting of an RCT, enabling readers to understand a trial's conduct and to assess the validity of its results.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1 June 2015
                : 10
                : 6
                [1 ]Multidisciplinary Pain Center, Neuroscience Center, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
                [2 ]Department of Anaesthesia, Centre of Head and Orthopaedics, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
                [3 ]Department of Surgery D, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
                University of British Columbia, CANADA
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: MUW MPP LPHA JBD. Performed the experiments: MUW MPP LPHA. Analyzed the data: MUW MPP. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: MUW. Wrote the paper: MUW MPP LPHA JBD.


                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 6, Pages: 37
                The authors have no support or funding to report.
                Research Article
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                All relevant data are included within the paper.



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