Medical College of Wisconsin
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Neuropathic pain in sickle cell disease: measurement and management. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program 2020 12 04;2020(1):553-561



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The identification of chronic pain and neuropathic pain as common contributors to the overall pain experience of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) has altered the way we should evaluate difficult-to-treat pain. The recognition of these 2 entities is not generally routine among various medical specialties and provider levels that treat SCD. Due to the relative recency with which neuropathic pain was first described in SCD, validated assessment tools and evidence-based treatments remain lacking. Although clinical assessment and judgment must continue to inform all decision making in this understudied area of SCD pain management, a number of validated neuropathic pain assessment tools exist that can make possible a standardized evaluation process. Similarly, investigation of available neuropathic pain treatments for the uniquely complex pain phenotypes of SCD has only just begun and is better established in pain conditions other than SCD. The aim of this review is to briefly summarize the proposed basic pathophysiology, assessment, and treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with SCD. Furthermore, the aim of this review is to encourage an expanded framework for the assessment and treatment of SCD pain that appreciates the hidden complexities of this common complication of SCD.

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Glaros A, Brandow AM


Amanda Brandow DO Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

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

Anemia, Sickle Cell
Chronic Pain
Pain Management