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Korean J Anesthesiol > Volume 43(2); 2002 > Article
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology 2002;43(2):216-225.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4097/kjae.2002.43.2.216   
Effects of Capsaicin Application to Peripheral Nerves in a Rat Model for Human Postoperative Pain.
Tae Jung Kim, Chong Kwon Cheong, Jung Uk Han, Hyun Kyung Lim, Choon Soo Lee, Hong Sik Lee, Young Deog Cha, Do Hyun Lee, Sung Keun Lee
Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea.
Abstract
BACKGROUND
The interest in management of postoperative pain has increased with the development of medicine. The mechanism of postoperative pain should be understood first. Capsaicin has been proven to be a powerful agent acting selectively on nociceptive afferent fibers. This study was focused on how the perineural treatment of capsaicin affects pain after an incision in the rat model.
METHODS
Capsaicin was applied directly to sciatic nerve branches, on the are tibial, sural, and saphenous nerves. Pain behaviors to von Frey filaments, blunt probe stimulation, resting pain, and heat were evaluated on the incised feet. The grade of wound healing was assessed according to clinical findings of the wound 3 days postoperatively.
RESULTS
Capsaicin applied directly onto nerves elevated withdrawal latency to heat during the study. There were statistically significant increases of withdrawal latencies in the capsaicin group compared with the vehicle group. Capsaicin produced agreater increase of the withdrawal threshold to von Frey than the vehicle 2 days after the incision. Resting pain scores were lower in capsaicin - treated rats than in the vehicle group for 2 days. The grade of wound healing was poor in capsaicin - treated rats.
CONCLUSIONS
The perineural application of capsaicin appears to affect the pathway of transmission of postoperative pain. Current results suggest that capsaicin has a strong analgesic effect on thermal hyperalgesia and attenuates mechanical hyperalgesia by an incision. Capsaicin sensitive nerves could be involved in wound healing.
Key Words: Capsaicin; incision; nociceptive afferent; postoperative pain


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