NeurophotonicsFunctional near-infrared spectroscopy study on tonic pain activation by cold pressor test
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Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has recently been suggested for monitoring cortical hemodynamic response to experimental and clinical acute pain. However, the hemodynamic response to a tonic, noxious cold stimulus, and its relation with subjective pain sensation is not fully characterized. We investigated the relationship between pain threshold and tolerance and the evoked hemodynamic response to cold pressor tests (CPTs) at varying intensities and explored the gender effect. Twenty-one healthy individuals (10 males and 11 females) performed four CPTs at 1°C, 5°C, 10°C, and 15°C. Deoxyhemoglobin (HHb) and oxyhemoglobin (
) were measured continuously on the forehead by two “far” and two “near” channels in addition to pain scores, threshold, and tolerance. We found a significant within-subject correlation between pain threshold and the immediate
response at the right frontal region. Gender difference and asymmetrical activation were observed in the “far” channels but not the “near” channels, suggesting a hemispheric preference in response to noxious cold stimuli. No gender difference was found in pain threshold, tolerance, or scores. This research adds to the body of literature suggesting the use of fNIRS for bedside assessment of pain in addition to behavioral and subjective measures for comprehensive, multimodal pain management.