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Replicate effects and test–retest reliability of quantitative sensory threshold testing in dogs with and without chronic pain

  • David Knazovicky
    Affiliations
    Comparative Pain Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
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  • Erika S. Helgeson
    Affiliations
    Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • Beth Case
    Affiliations
    Comparative Pain Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
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  • Andrea Thomson
    Affiliations
    Comparative Pain Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
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  • Margaret E. Gruen
    Affiliations
    Comparative Pain Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

    Comparative Medicine Institute, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
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  • William Maixner
    Affiliations
    Center for Translational Pain Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

    Center for Pain Research and Innovation, UNC School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • B. Duncan X. Lascelles
    Correspondence
    Correspondence: B Duncan X Lascelles, Comparative Pain Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Sciences and Comparative Medicine Institute, North Carolina State University, 1052 William Moore Drive, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA.
    Affiliations
    Comparative Pain Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

    Comparative Medicine Institute, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

    Center for Translational Pain Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

    Center for Pain Research and Innovation, UNC School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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Published:January 10, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaa.2016.08.008

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate replicate effects and test–retest reliability of mechanical and thermal quantitative sensory testing (QST) in normal dogs and dogs with osteoarthritis (OA)-associated pain.

      Study design

      A prospective clinical study.

      Animals

      A total of 54 client owned dogs (OA, n=31; controls, n=23).

      Methods

      Mechanical [electronic von Frey (EVF) and blunt pressure] and thermal (hot and cold) sensory thresholds were obtained in dogs with OA-associated pain and control dogs at two visits, 7 days apart, to assess test–retest reliability. Thresholds were measured at the OA-affected joint (hip or stifle), over the tibial muscle and over the midpoint of the metatarsals. Five replicates were obtained for each modality at each site bilaterally.

      Results

      Overall, there was no significant effect of replicates on QST response. EVF thresholds were significantly lower at the second visit in OA dogs at the affected and metatarsal sites (p=0.0017 and p=0.0014, respectively). Similarly for control dogs, EVF thresholds were significantly lower at the second visit at the metatarsal site (p=0.001). Significantly higher hot thermal latencies were seen in OA dogs at the affected and tibial testing sites (p=0.014 and p=0.012, respectively), and in control dogs at the tibial site (p=0.004).

      Conclusions

      In QST, a replicate does not show a strong effect. However, QST results show variability over time, particularly for EVF and hot thermal stimuli.

      Clinical relevance

      If QST is to be used clinically to evaluate a sensitized state, the variability over time needs to be accounted for in the study design.

      Keywords

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