BackgroundAge-, gender- and body site-specific values of thermal Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) measures have not yet been reported using the novel and cheap device 'Q-sense'. Here, we aimed to assess normative values of Q-sense-derived parameters in a representative Italian population.MethodsQST parameters were measured in 84 healthy participants (42 males; aged 20-76 years) equally distributed into three age groups (18-39, 40-59 and 60-80 years). We explored the Warm and the Cold Detection Thresholds (WDT and CDT, respectively) with the method of limits (MLI) and the method of levels (MLE), and the Heat Pain Threshold (HPT) with the MLI. We tested the trigeminal supraorbital region, the hand thenar, and the foot dorsum on the right body side.ResultsWe calculated non-parametric reference limits (2.5-97.5(th)) according to age, gender and tested site. All QST measures were affected by age, gender and tested site. In the extra-trigeminal body sites, females showed lower WDT and higher CDT, while males had higher HPT. Worse sensory discriminative abilities and increased HPT values were found in people aged over 40 on the foot. Age-related differences were more evident with the reaction time-dependent MLI vs. MLE paradigm.ConclusionsDemographic characteristics must be considered when QST is used in the clinical setting. The definition of reference limits for sensory testing with the Q-sense herein provided can pave the way towards a more widespread use of thermal QST for diagnosing small fiber neuropathy and for identifying patients' profiles in different chronic pain syndromes.

Age-, gender- and body site-specific reference values of thermal Quantitative Sensory Testing in the Italian population using the Q-sense device

Cosentino, Giuseppe;Tassorelli, Cristina
2023-01-01

Abstract

BackgroundAge-, gender- and body site-specific values of thermal Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) measures have not yet been reported using the novel and cheap device 'Q-sense'. Here, we aimed to assess normative values of Q-sense-derived parameters in a representative Italian population.MethodsQST parameters were measured in 84 healthy participants (42 males; aged 20-76 years) equally distributed into three age groups (18-39, 40-59 and 60-80 years). We explored the Warm and the Cold Detection Thresholds (WDT and CDT, respectively) with the method of limits (MLI) and the method of levels (MLE), and the Heat Pain Threshold (HPT) with the MLI. We tested the trigeminal supraorbital region, the hand thenar, and the foot dorsum on the right body side.ResultsWe calculated non-parametric reference limits (2.5-97.5(th)) according to age, gender and tested site. All QST measures were affected by age, gender and tested site. In the extra-trigeminal body sites, females showed lower WDT and higher CDT, while males had higher HPT. Worse sensory discriminative abilities and increased HPT values were found in people aged over 40 on the foot. Age-related differences were more evident with the reaction time-dependent MLI vs. MLE paradigm.ConclusionsDemographic characteristics must be considered when QST is used in the clinical setting. The definition of reference limits for sensory testing with the Q-sense herein provided can pave the way towards a more widespread use of thermal QST for diagnosing small fiber neuropathy and for identifying patients' profiles in different chronic pain syndromes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1486040
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