Neurological Assessment Using a Quantitative Sensory Test in Patients with Chronic Unilateral Orofacial Pain

The Open Dentistry Journal 31 Jan 2018 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210601812010053



Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) has been used in clinical and experimental settings to establish sensory assessment for different types of pains, and may be a useful tool for the assessment of orofacial pain, but this premise needs to be tested.


The aim of the study was to evaluate responses to thermal stimuli between painful and non-painful facial sites in subjects with orofacial pain using QST.


A total of 60 participants (5o females: 28-83 years; 10 males: 44-81 years) with unilateral orofacial pain were recruited from the Orofacial Pain Clinic at the Pain Management and Research Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia. The study followed the methods of limits of the German Research Network testing four modalities of thermal thresholds, the Warm Sensation, the Cold Sensation, the Heat Pain and the Cold Pain using a TSA-II Neurosensory Analyser. The results were compared to the results from the unaffected side of the same patient on the same area and a single t test statistical analysis was performed, where a p value of less than 0.05 was considered significant.


The Mean Difference for Cold Sensation between the pain side and the non-pain side was 0.48 °C ± 1.5 (t= 2.466, p=0.017), 0.68 °C ± 2.04 for Warm Sensation (t= -2.573, p= 0.013), 2.56 °C ± 2.74 for Cold Pain (t= 7.238, p<0.001) and -1.21 °C ± 2.59 for Hot Pain (t= -3.639, p=0.001).


The study showed that QST methods using thermal stimuli could be used to evaluate sensory dysfunction in orofacial pain patients using the specific parameters of cool and warm sensation, and cold and hot pain.

Keywords: QST (Quantitative sensory test), Neurological assessment, Orofacial pain, Chronic pain diagnosis, Warm sensation, Cold sensation.
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