Quantitative evaluation of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy by using intraepidermal electrical stimulation

Mol Clin Oncol. 2020 Aug;13(2):169-174. doi: 10.3892/mco.2020.2056. Epub 2020 Jun 3.


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a frequently observed treatment-related adverse effect, particularly associated with taxane-based chemotherapy, which affects the quality of life of the patients. To date, CIPN has been subjectively evaluated by patients or physicians. Intraepidermal electrical stimulation (IES) may be applied to evaluate the function of small fibers by measuring pain threshold, and assess the degree of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The aim of the present study was to evaluate CIPN objectively by using IES. The pain threshold measured by IES in patients with gynecological cancer who underwent taxane-based chemotherapy was compared with the clinical grading scale of peripheral neuropathy (National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0). A total of 57 patients were evaluated (151 measurements). The median age of the patients was 63 years. The number of measurements with clinical grades of 0, 1 and ≥2 was 49, 57 and 45, respectively. The mean pain threshold was 0.1, 0.14 and 0.18 mA for grades 0, 1 and ≥2, respectively. Therefore, the mean pain threshold significantly increased with the progression of the clinical grade. The measurement of pain threshold by using IES may be a reliable indicator for quantitative evaluation of CIPN.

Keywords: chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy; intraepidermal electrical stimulation; objective measurement; paclitaxel; quantitative evaluation.