Research report: PDF OnlySubjective sensitization to tonic heat as an indicator of thermal painSeverin, F.; Lehmann, W. P.1; Strian, F.Author Information Neurologische Poliklinik, Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, Kraepelinstrasse 10, 8000 Munich 80 F.R.G. 1To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Submitted January 30, 1984; accepted November 26, 1984. Pain: April 1985 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 369-378 doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(85)90165-4 Buy Metrics Abstract In 144 healthy subjects tonic heat stimuli were applied with a contact thermode and systematically varied with respect to 3 parameters: temperature T, rate of temperature change RTC and duration D. In addition, the stimulus temperature at which the first sensation of pain occurred was produced by some subjects. In both types of experiments, subjects compared heat intensity felt at the beginning and the end of the stimulus and then set stimulus temperature to correspond with their initial sensation. The direction of this temperature change (ΔT) indicates whether the subject senses an augmentation or a diminution of heat intensity. There was a parallel occurrence of pain and sensitization to sustained heat. The average skin temperature of the point of transition from adaptation to sensitization was equal to the average pain threshold temperature. The temperature change response maintained individual differences of thermal and pain sensitivity and was highly consistent for each subject. Potential applications of the procedure in clinical and experimental pain research are discussed. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.