Test-retest reliability of Quantitative Sensory Testing in knee osteoarthritis and healthy participants

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011 Jun;19(6):655-8. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2011.02.009. Epub 2011 Feb 15.


Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST), which assesses somatosensory function by recording participant's responses to external stimuli of controlled intensity, is a useful tool to provide insight into the complex pathophysiology of osteoarthritis (OA) pain. However, QST is not commonly used in rheumatology because the test-retest reliability properties of QST in OA patients have not yet been established. This brief report presents the finding of a study which assessed the test-retest reliability of light touch thresholds, pressure pain thresholds, thermal sensation thresholds and thermal pain thresholds in 50 knee OA patients and 50 healthy participants. Pressure pain thresholds were found to be the least variable measurement, as median thresholds did not differ significantly over the 1 week period and the results were highly correlated. This provides support for the inclusion of pressure algometry in studies assessing pain perception abnormalities in OA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pain Perception / physiology
  • Pain Threshold / physiology*
  • Physical Stimulation / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology*
  • Thermosensing / physiology