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      Vaso-occlusive crisis in sickle cell disease: current paradigm on pain management

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          Abstract

          This narrative review aims to highlight the current paradigm on pain management in sickle cell vaso-occlusive crisis. It specifically examines the pathophysiologic mechanisms of sickle cell pain as well as the pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic methods of pain management. Recurrent painful episodes constitute the major morbidity in sickle cell disease (SCD). While adolescents and young adults experience mostly acute episodic nociceptive pain, it is now recognized that a significant number of adult patients develop chronic neuropathic and centralized pain. In fact, current evidence points to an age-dependent increase in the frequency of SCD patients with chronic pain. Management of disease-related pain should be based on its pathophysiologic mechanisms instead of using recommendations from other non-SCD pain syndromes. Pain management in vaso-occlusive crisis is complex and requires multiple interventions such as pharmacologic, nonpharmacologic, and preventive therapeutic interventions. Pharmacologic treatment involves the use of non-opioid and opioid analgesics, and adjuvants – either singly or in combination – depending on the severity of pain. The basic approach is to treat SCD pain symptomatically with escalating doses of non-opioid and opioid analgesics. Given the moderate-to-severe nature of the pain usually experienced in this form of SCD crisis, opioids form the bedrock of pharmacologic treatment. Multimodal analgesia and structured, individualized analgesic regimen appear more effective in achieving better treatment outcomes. Although the current evidence is still limited on the supportive role of cognitive behavioral therapy in pain management, this nonpharmacologic approach is reportedly effective, but needs further exploration as a possible adjunct in analgesia.

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          Most cited references 70

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          Treatment of cancer pain.

           R Portenoy (2011)
          In patients with active cancer, the management of chronic pain is an essential element in a comprehensive strategy for palliative care. This strategy emphasises multidimensional assessment and the coordinated use of treatments that together mitigate suffering and provide support to the patient and family. This review describes this framework, an approach to pain assessment, and widely accepted techniques to optimise the safety and effectiveness of opioid drugs and other treatments. The advances of recent decades suggest a future that includes increased evidence-based targeting of specific analgesic interventions within an individualised plan of care that is appropriate throughout the course of illness. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Nitric oxide for inhalation in the acute treatment of sickle cell pain crisis: a randomized controlled trial.

            Inhaled nitric oxide has shown evidence of efficacy in mouse models of sickle cell disease (SCD), case series of patients with acute chest syndrome, and 2 small placebo-controlled trials for treatment of vaso-occlusive pain crisis (VOC). To determine whether inhaled nitric oxide gas reduces the duration of painful crisis in patients with SCD who present to the emergency department or hospital for care. Prospective, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial for up to 72 hours of inhaled nitric oxide gas vs inhaled nitrogen placebo in 150 participants presenting with VOC of SCD at 11 centers between October 5, 2004, and December 22, 2008. Intervention Inhaled nitric oxide gas vs inhaled nitrogen placebo. The primary end point was the time to resolution of painful crisis, defined by (1) freedom from parenteral opioid use for 5 hours; (2) pain relief as assessed by visual analog pain scale scores of 6 cm or lower (on 0-10 scale); (3) ability to walk; and (4) patient's and family's decision, with physician consensus, that the remaining pain could be managed at home. There was no significant change in the primary end point between the nitric oxide and placebo groups, with a median time to resolution of crisis of 73.0 hours (95% confidence interval [CI], 46.0-91.0) and 65.5 hours (95% CI, 48.1-84.0), respectively (P = .87). There were no significant differences in secondary outcome measures, including length of hospitalization, visual analog pain scale scores, cumulative opioid usage, and rate of acute chest syndrome. Inhaled nitric oxide was well tolerated, with no increase in serious adverse events. Increases in venous methemoglobin concentration confirmed adherence and randomization but did not exceed 5% in any study participant. Significant increases in plasma nitrate occurred in the treatment group, but there were no observed increases in plasma or whole blood nitrite. Among patients with SCD hospitalized with VOC, the use of inhaled nitric oxide compared with placebo did not improve time to crisis resolution. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00094887.
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              Sickle-cell disease.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2018
                11 December 2018
                : 11
                : 3141-3150
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria, snuwaezuoke@ 123456yahoo.com
                [2 ]Department of Pediatrics, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Samuel N Uwaezuoke, Department of Pediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, PMB 01299, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu 400001, Nigeria, Tel +234 803 324 8108, Email snuwaezuoke@ 123456yahoo.com
                Article
                jpr-11-3141
                10.2147/JPR.S185582
                6294061
                © 2018 Uwaezuoke 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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