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Eur J Neurol. 2009 Feb;16(2):188-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2008.02378.x. Epub 2008 Dec 9.

Risk factors for stroke-related pain 1 year after first-ever stroke.

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Department of Neuroscience, Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.



To estimate the prevalence of stroke-related pain and to explore its relation to spasticity.


Cross-sectional survey.


One hundred and forty patients were examined at 1 year after first-ever stroke. Pain was assessed by a structured interview and categorized as stroke-related or not, pain intensity by use of the visual analogue scale (VAS), spasticity by use of the modified Ashworth scale, stroke severity and the presence of specific neurological impairments by use of the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and depression by use of the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Scale.


Pain was reported by 68 patients (49%) with a mean VAS of 42 (95% CI 36-47). In 29 patients (21%), pain was categorized as stroke-related pain. Univariate analyses demonstrated correlations between stroke-related pain and total NIHSS score, paresis, sensory disturbance, depression and spasticity respectively. A multiple regression analysis demonstrated an independent association of stroke-related pain with paresis (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.2-7.7), sensory disturbance (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.1-8.9) and depression (OR = 4.1, 95% CI 1.4-13).


The estimated prevalence of stroke-related pain was 21%. Stroke-related pain was associated with sensorimotor impairments and depression, but not with spasticity as an independent variable.

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