Share this article on:

Genetic predictors of recovery in low back and lumbar radicular pain

Bjorland, Siria,b,*; Røe, Ceciliea,b; Moen, Aurorab,c; Schistad, Elinab; Mahmood, Aqsac; Gjerstad, Johannesc,d

doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000934
Research Paper
Global Year

Previous data suggest that persistent back pain may be associated with genetic variability. In this study, we assessed the correlation between 8 genetic polymorphisms (VDR, COL11, MMP1, MMP9, IL-1α, IL-1RN, OPRM1, COMT) and pain recovery in patients with low back pain (LBP) and lumbar radicular pain (LRP). In total, 296 patients with LBP or LRP were followed for 5 years. The patients underwent standardized clinical examination and completed pain and function questionnaires. Univariate linear regression associations with P values <0.1 were included in the multivariable analysis, adjusting for pain intensity at baseline, age, sex, smoking, body mass index, and LBP or LRP. Pain intensity at 5-year follow-up was associated with VDR rs731236 (B = −0.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] −0.9 to −0.1, P = 0.017), MMP9 rs17576 (B = 0.5, 95% CI 0.1-0.9, P = 0.022), and OPRM1 rs1799971 (B = −0.8, 95% CI −1.4 to −0.2, P = 0.006) in the univariate analyses. MMP9 rs17576 and OPRM1 rs1799971 remained significant (B = 0.4, 95% CI 0.05-0.8, P = 0.026 and B = −0.8, 95% CI −1.3 to −0.2, P = 0.007) in the multivariable model. Thus, the data demonstrated that the rare allele of MMP9 rs17576 was associated with poor pain recovery, whereas the rare allele of OPRM1 rs1799971 was associated with better pain recovery at 5-year follow-up in the LBP and LRP patients. In particular, the present study suggested that the OPRM1 rs179971 A>G in men was associated with better long-term pain recovery. In men, the OPRM1 rs1799971 explained 4.7% of the variance of pain intensity. We conclude that the MMP9 rs17576 and OPRM1 rs1799971 genotypes may affect 5-year recovery in patients with LBP and LRP.

The MMP9 rs17576 and OPRM1 rs1799971 genotypes may affect 5-year recovery in patients with low back and lumbar radicular pain.

aInstitute of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

bDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Oslo, Norway

cDepartment of Psychology and Physiology, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway

dDepartment of Molecular Bioscience, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Corresponding author. Address: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Postboks 4956 Nydalen, N-0424 Oslo, Norway. Tel.: +47 22119037 (office); +47 95917433 (mobile). E-mail address: sibjorl@online.no (S. Bjorland).

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

Received January 30, 2017

Received in revised form April 13, 2017

Accepted April 19, 2017

© 2017 International Association for the Study of Pain