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J Pain. 2008 Oct;9(10):940-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2008.05.015. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Can preoperative electrical nociceptive stimulation predict acute pain after groin herniotomy?

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  • 1Section of Surgical Pathophysiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Preoperative identification of patients at risk for high-intensity postoperative pain may be used to predict patients at risk for development of a persistent pain state and allocate patients to more intensive specific pain therapy. Preoperative pain threshold to electrocutaneus stimulation has recently been shown to correlate to acute postoperative pain after cesarean section, but the findings have not been confirmed in larger studies or other procedures. Preoperative electrical pain detection threshold and pain tolerance were assessed in patients undergoing a primary unilateral groin hernia repair. The correlation between the pain data for electrical stimulation was compared with the postoperative pain during the first week in 165 patients, whereof 3 were excluded. Preoperative electrical pain detection threshold and electrical pain tolerance threshold did not correlate to postoperative pain (rho = -0.13, P = .09, and rho = -1.2, P = .4, respectively.


Although preoperative electrical nociceptive stimulation may predict patients at risk of high-intensity acute pain after other surgical procedures, this was not the case in groin hernia repair patients receiving concomitant treatment with acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

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