Background: Chronic postthoracotomy pain (CPTP) consists of different types of pain. Some characteristics of CPTP are the same as those of recognized neuropathic pain syndromes. We aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of pregabalin and methylcobalamin combination (PG-B12) in comparison with diclofenac potassium (DP) in patients with CPTP.
Methods: One hundred consecutive patients with CPTP after posterolateral/lateral thoracotomy were prospectively randomly assigned and evaluated. Fifty patients were given PG-B12 and another 50 patients were given DP treatment. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (LANSS) scorings were performed previous to the treatment (day 0) and on the 15th, 30th, 60th, and 90th days. Adverse events were questioned.
Results: The mean ages were 58.7 ± 12.2 and 54.6 ± 14.5 years, and the mean durations of pain were 4.01 ± 1.04 and 3.8 ± 1.02 months, respectively. The number of patients with a VAS score less than 5 at the latest follow-up (VAS90 < 5) was 44 (88%) and 18 (36%) in the PG-B12 and DP groups, respectively (p < 0.05). Forty-four patients (88%) in the PG-B12 group and 16 patients (32%) in the DP group had a LANSS score less than 12 at the latest follow-up (p < 0.05). Minor adverse events that did not mandate discontinuation of the treatment were observed in 14 patients (28%) in the PG-B12 group and 2 patients (4%) in the DP group.
Conclusions: PB-B12 is safe and effective in the treatment of CPTP with minimal side effects and a high patient compliance. These results should be supported by multidisciplinary studies with larger sample sizes and longer follow-ups.
Copyright © 2017 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.