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Patients with sickle cell disease have increased sensitivity to cold and heat. Am J Hematol 2013 Jan;88(1):37-43 PMID: 23115062 PMCID: PMC3552380

Pubmed ID

23115062

DOI

10.1002/ajh.23341

Abstract

Sickle cell disease (SCD) pain is associated with colder temperatures and touch and described as "cold," "hot," and "shooting" suggesting hypersensitivity to tactile stimuli. Sickle mice exhibit hypersensitivity to thermal (cold, heat) and mechanical stimuli compared to controls. It is unknown whether humans experience this same hypersensitivity. Thus, we quantified thermal and mechanical sensitivity differences between patients with SCD and controls. Our primary hypothesis was that patients with SCD will exhibit hypersensitivity to thermal and mechanical stimuli compared to race-matched controls. Our secondary hypothesis was this hypersensitivity will be associated with older and female subjects, and with frequent pain and hemolysis in patients with SCD. A total of 55 patients and 57 controls ≥7 years completed quantitative sensory testing. Patients with SCD detected the sensation of cold and warm temperatures sooner as seen in their significantly lower median cold and heat detection thresholds [29.5°C vs. 28.6°C, P = 0.012 and 34.5°C vs. 35.3°C, P = 0.02] and experienced cold and heat pain sooner as seen in their significantly lower median cold and heat pain thresholds [21.1°C vs. 14.8°C, P = 0.01 and 42.7°C vs. 45.2°C, P = 0.04]. We found no mechanical threshold differences. Older age was associated with lower cold, heat, and mechanical pain thresholds in both groups. No association with pain, gender, or hemolysis was found. Patients with SCD exhibit hypersensitivity to thermal stimuli suggesting peripheral or central sensitization may exist and could contribute to SCD pain.

Author List

Brandow AM, Stucky CL, Hillery CA, Hoffmann RG, Panepinto JA

Authors

Amanda Brandow DO Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Julie A. Panepinto MD, MSPH Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Cheryl L. Stucky PhD Professor in the Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy department at Medical College of Wisconsin




Scopus

2-s2.0-84871433814   57 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adolescent
Adult
Age Factors
Anemia, Sickle Cell
Animals
Child
Cold Temperature
Female
Hemolysis
Hot Temperature
Humans
Male
Mice
Pain
jenkins-FCD Prod-332 f92a19b0ec5e8e1eff783fac390ec127e367c2b5