Objective: Clinical tools are needed to identify and target a neuropathic-like phenotype, which may be associated with central sensitization (CS), in osteoarthritis (OA). The modified painDETECT questionnaire (mPD-Q) has face and content validity for identifying neuropathic-like symptoms in knee OA. To further validate the mPD-Q, this study assessed the unknown relationship between mPD-Q scores and signs of CS on quantitative sensory testing (QST) in knee OA.
Design: 36 Individuals were recruited with chronic, symptomatic, knee OA without other pain/neurological conditions. Reference QST data were obtained from 18 controls/32 eligible knees, enabling identification of sensory abnormalities/CS among case knees. A standardized questionnaire assessed psychological factors (depressive symptoms and pain catastrophizing), and for individual knees, mPD-Q and pain intensity scores. A standardized/comprehensive QST protocol was conducted for each knee. QST signs of CS were defined as: mechanical hyperalgesia and/or enhanced temporal summation and/or allodynia. The relationship between the presence of CS (yes/no) and a pre-selected mPD-Q score (≤12 or >12), by knees, was assessed using generalized estimating equations.
Results: Among 57 eligible case knees, 45.6% had ≥1 sign of CS. Controlling for age, knees with higher mPD-Q scores (>12.0) had higher odds of having QST signs of CS (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 5.6; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.3-22.9). This relationship was unaffected by controlling for depression and pain intensity, but was attenuated by pain catastrophizing.
Conclusions: Among painful OA knees, higher mPD-Q scores were associated with greater odds of having signs of CS. Thus, the mPD-Q may aid the identification of CS in people with chronic knee OA.
Keywords: Central sensitization; Modified painDETECT; Osteoarthritis; Pain; Quantitative sensory testing.
© 2013 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.