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Stratification of neuropathic pain patients

the road to mechanism-based therapy?

Forstenpointner, Julia; Rehm, Stefanie; Gierthmühlen, Janne; Baron, Ralf

Current Opinion in Anesthesiology: October 2018 - Volume 31 - Issue 5 - p 562–568
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000642
PAIN MEDICINE: Edited by Esther Pogatzki-Zahn
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Purpose of review It has been demonstrated that within one pain entity, patients may report highly heterogenic sensory signs and symptoms. Although mechanism might differ fundamentally between those patients, yet the treatment recommendations are uniform throughout all phenotypes. Therefore, the introduction of new stratification tools could pave the way to an individualized pain treatment.

Recent findings In the past, retrospective stratifications of patients successfully identified responders to certain pharmacological treatments. This indicated predictive validity and reliability of this classification tool in those patient subgroups. Further on, these observations have been confirmed in prospective studies.

Summary This review focusses on recent achievements in neuropathic pain and suggests a promising implementation of an individualized pharmacological therapy in the future.

Division of Neurological Pain Research and Therapy, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany

Correspondence to Dr Ralf Baron, MD, Division of Neurological Pain Research and Therapy, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, 24105 Kiel, Germany. Tel: +49 431 500 23911; fax: +49 431 500 23914; e-mail: r.baron@neurologie.uni-kiel.de

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