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Diagnostics 2015, 5(1), 84-95; doi:10.3390/diagnostics5010084

Pain in the Blood? Envisioning Mechanism-Based Diagnoses and Biomarkers in Clinical Pain Medicine

1
Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden
2
Pain and Rehabilitation Centre, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Centre, Region Östergötland, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden
Academic Editor: Ludmilla A. Morozova-Roche
Received: 30 December 2014 / Revised: 8 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 17 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Blood)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [107 KB, uploaded 17 March 2015]

Abstract

Chronic pain is highly prevalent, and pain medicine lacks objective biomarkers to guide diagnosis and choice of treatment. The current U.S. “opioid epidemic” is a reminder of the paucity of effective and safe treatment options. Traditional pain diagnoses according to the International Classification of Diseases are often unspecific, and analgesics are often prescribed on a trial-and-error basis. In contrast to this current state of affairs, the vision of future mechanism-based diagnoses of chronic pain conditions is presented in this non-technical paper, focusing on the need for biomarkers and the theoretical complexity of the task. Pain is and will remain a subjective experience, and as such is not objectively measurable. Therefore, the concept of “noci-marker” is presented as an alternative to “pain biomarker”, the goal being to find objective, measurable correlates of the pathophysiological processes involved in different chronic pain conditions. This vision entails a call for more translational pain research in order to bridge the gap between clinical pain medicine and preclinical science. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomarker; biopsychosocial; diagnosis; neuropathic; nociception; nociceptive; pain biomarker; biopsychosocial; diagnosis; neuropathic; nociception; nociceptive; pain
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bäckryd, E. Pain in the Blood? Envisioning Mechanism-Based Diagnoses and Biomarkers in Clinical Pain Medicine. Diagnostics 2015, 5, 84-95.

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