Oxytocin has known antinociceptive effects and is upregulated perinatally. This pilot study investigated the association of plasma oxytocin and postcesarean incisional pain. Plasma samples from 18 patients undergoing elective cesarean delivery were drawn at 1 hour preoperatively and 1 and 24 hours postoperatively and analyzed by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Pain was assessed at 1 day, 8 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months postoperatively. Incisional pain at 24 hours was inversely correlated with 1- and 24-hour oxytocin levels, with higher plasma oxytocin associated with lower pain (ρ, −0.52 and −0.66; P < .05).
From the *Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine
†Women’s Pain Group, Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Published ahead of print 29 January 2018.
Accepted for publication January 29, 2018.
Funding: This work was supported by the departmental funding from the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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Address correspondence to Holly B. Ende, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1211 Medical Center Dr, Nashville, TN 37232. Address e-mail to email@example.com