Objective measurement of pain related to cardiac surgery: a study using algometry

TitleObjective measurement of pain related to cardiac surgery: a study using algometry
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSegura-Méndez, B., Á. Planchuelo-Gómez, Á. Sierra, D. García-Azorín, E. Velasco-García, Á. Fuentes-Martín, C. Sánchez, V-A. I. de la Lastra, Á. L. Guerrero, and Y. Carrascal
Conference Name8th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology
Date Published2022

Background and aims: Algometry is a safe and objective technique to quantify pain, up to now used in headache research, but to a lesser extent to assess pain related to surgery. We aimed to analyze the demographic characteristics of pain related to cardiac surgery, assessed using static algometry.

Methods: Adult patients consecutively undergoing cardiac surgery were prospectively recruited. Pressure pain thresholds (PPT) were measured in both sides of sternum manubrium, body (five measures) and xiphoid process, preoperatively and on days 1, 3 and 7 postoperatively. Linear mixed-effects models were employed to assess the longitudinal changes and results were corrected for multiple comparisons following a false discovery rate procedure.

Results: We included 70 patients (41.4% female) with a median age of 67.5 years (range 26-85). Regarding the baseline values, PPT were significantly lower in women and patients older than 65 years. After the surgery, there was a significant reduction of PPT in all assessed regions, which was partially compensated after seven days. Moreover, postoperatively, differences associated with age disappeared and those associated with sex were almost negligible. These differences related to age and sex increased after seven days of surgery, but this difference was lower in comparison with the baseline situation (Table 1, Figure 1). Postoperative pain perception was significantly higher (lower PPT) in both sexes.

Conclusion: Pain related to cardiac surgery can be measured with algometry, mainly during first postoperative days. Differences in pain sensitivity related to age and sex decrease after surgery.

Disclosure: No conflict of interest.