Quantitative sensory test findings in cervical radicular pain and their relationship with the symptoms

Agri. 2022 Oct;34(4):235-244. doi: 10.14744/agri.2021.88972.


Objectives: This study aims to define and compare sensory phenotypes in cervical radiculopathy patients exhibiting neuropathic pain (NP) components with healthy volunteers using clinical examination and quantitative sensory test (QST) findings. Another aim of the study is to show whether symptomatic components of the pain detect questionnaire (PDQ) are correlated with the QST findings, which may help clinicians indicate patients with sensory abnormalities without the use of specialized tests.

Methods: Fifty-seven participants were included in the study, including patients with NP (n=20) and healthy volunteers (n=37). After obtaining the sociodemographic and clinical data of the participants, the PDQ was performed in patients with pain followed by QST analysis in all participants.

Results: Analyses between painful and non-painful extremities yielded no differences in all groups for QST (p>0.05). Sensory thresholds were found to be higher in the NP group compared to healthy volunteers, and the pain threshold test was found to be lower (p<0.05) in the intergroup analyses. The changes described were found in both painful and non-painful limbs. Pain with slight pressure was found to be correlated with the lower heat pain threshold values (R=-0.602, p=0.005).

Conclusion: Patients with NP were found to have lower thresholds for pain and higher sensory thresholds when compared to healthy volunteers. Moreover, pain with pressure component in PDQ was found to be associated with hyperalgesia in QST.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hyperalgesia / complications
  • Hyperalgesia / diagnosis
  • Neuralgia* / complications
  • Neuralgia* / diagnosis
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold
  • Radiculopathy* / complications
  • Radiculopathy* / diagnosis