ArticleQualitative and quantitative characterization of the thermal grillLeung, Albert Y.*; Wallace, Mark S.; Schulteis, Gery; Yaksh, Tony L. Author Information Department of Anesthesiology, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Drive #0924, La Jolla, CA 92093-0924, USA *Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 858 657 7030; fax: +1 858 657 7035. E-mail: [email protected] Submitted October 7, 2004; revised March 4, 2005; accepted March 14, 2005. Pain: July 2005 - Volume 116 - Issue 1 - p 26-32 doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2005.03.026 Buy Metrics Abstract Concurrent applications to the skin of spatially adjacent bands of innocuous warm and cool stimuli would elicit a peculiar sensation, known as the ‘thermal grill illusion’. To validate the thermal grill as a research tool, this two-phase study qualitatively characterizes this peculiar sensation and further quantitatively establishes the temperature matching of the most intense/noxious thermal grill stimulations at two different time points. The temperature combinations (°C) tested were: 18/18, 42/42, 18/42, 20/20, 40/40, 20/40, 22/22, 38/38, 22/38, 24/24, 36/36 and 24/36. None of the subjects reported pain with single temperature combinations. However, hot associated with pain and burning sensations were reported in all mixed temperature combinations tested. The VAS scores for pain were significantly elevated for 20/40 and 18/42 in comparison to 22/38 and 24/36 (P<0.007). At the 3-second time point, the matching temperatures (±SD) of 20/40 and 18/42 were 45.7±1.8 (range 44-48) and 46.6±1.5 (range 44-48) °C, respectively, whereas the matching temperatures for the single temperature combinations were similar to the set temperatures. Importantly, at the 10-second time point, none of the combinations were significantly greater than the highest of the pair of stimuli. The time course variation in the perception of the combined stimuli suggests an adaptation occurred in central processing. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.