A genetic association study of the functional A118G polymorphism of the human mu-opioid receptor gene in patients with acute and chronic pain

Anesth Analg. 2006 Oct;103(4):1011-7. doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000231634.20341.88.


In this prospective, observational study we explored whether A118G single nucleotide polymorphism in the human mu-opioid receptor (MOR) gene could explain the inter-individual differences in opioid analgesic requirements in patients with acute postoperative pain and chronic pain. The frequency of the wild-type A118 MOR (major) and variant G118 MOR (minor) alleles in the subjects with chronic, noncancer pain (n = 121) and opioid-naïve subjects with acute postoperative pain (n = 101), serving as the control group, were examined. The relationships among the A118G MOR genotype, opioid requirements, and the numerical pain score were analyzed in both groups. The frequency of the minor allele was significantly lower in the subjects with chronic pain when compared with the group with acute postoperative pain (0.079 versus 0.158; P = 0.009 by chi2 test). No statistically significant association was observed between the presence of A118G MOR polymorphism and the average postoperative pain score or the doses of morphine used in the immediate postoperative period. In the high-quartile, opioid utilization, chronic pain patients, the homozygotic carriers of the major allele required significantly higher opioid dose than did the carriers of the minor allele. The results indicate that although the presence of the minor allele does not appear to affect opioid analgesic use in acute postoperative pain, the minor allele is less common in chronic pain patients, especially in those requiring higher doses of opioid analgesics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery
  • Alleles*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Observation
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / genetics*
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Pain, Postoperative / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / genetics*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu