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Pain. 1998 May;76(1-2):127-35.

Cerebral responses to a continual tonic pain stimulus measured using positron emission tomography.

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PET Facility, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA 15213, USA.


We have previously demonstrated the localised positron emission tomographic cerebral correlates of the experience of painful phasic heat in the normal human brain. In this study we examine whether these responses are different using a continuous, tonic heat stimulus. The regional cerebral responses to non-painful and painful thermal stimuli in 12 male subjects were studied by monitoring serial measurements of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with positron emission tomography (PET) using H2(15)O. Significantly increased rCBF responses to tonic noxious stimulation compared with non-noxious stimulation were observed bilaterally in the anterior cingulate (Brodmann's area (BA) 24) cortex. Contralateral responses were observed in the lentiform nucleus and posterior insula cortex and ipsilateral responses were observed in the thalamus, cerebellum, prefrontal (BA 10) cortex and anterior insula cortex. These findings demonstrate general agreement between the main areas of cerebral activation during both phasic and tonic pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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