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Open AccessArticle

Autoalgometry: An Important Tool for Pressure Pain Threshold Evaluation

Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry “Scuola Medica Salernitana”, University of Salerno, 84081 Baronissi, Italy
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, 71122 Foggia, Italy
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, 95131 Catania, Italy
Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Department of Mental Health, Physical and Preventive Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 80138 Naples, Italy
Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Human Physiology and Unit of Dietetic and Sport Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 80138 Naples, Italy
Department of Surgery and Surgical Medical Specialties, University of Catania, 95131 Catania, Italy
Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II, 80138 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(9), 273;
Received: 24 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiovascular and Neurological Emergency)
The term “pain threshold” refers to the measurement of the intensity of a physical stimulus that evokes pain. To estimate the pain threshold, a mechanical or electrical stimulus with increasing intensity is usually applied until the subject under evaluation refers to a pain sensation. This study aims to evaluate the autoalgometric pain threshold as a perfect technique to determine the effects of stimulation rate in relation to both gender and the site of stimulation. In this experimental model, pressure algometry was applied: the subject under evaluation pushed a finger against a small round metal tip, producing and at the same time controlling the intensity of the noxious stimulus. Through autoalgometry, the stimulus intensity was recorded over time, measuring the force change rate applied and studying the subject’s behavior on approaching pain. This test was performed with 50 healthy volunteers on two days, applying a fast or slow rate of stimulation. The results described demonstrate that there is a positive correlation between the pressure increase rate and the pressure threshold evaluation. In light of these findings, autoalgometry can be proposed as an objective measure of pressure pain threshold for clinical and research use. View Full-Text
Keywords: autoalgometry; pain threshold; test speed; gender autoalgometry; pain threshold; test speed; gender
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Lorusso, L.; Salerno, M.; Sessa, F.; Nicolosi, D.; Longhitano, L.; Loreto, C.; Carotenuto, M.; Messina, A.; Monda, V.; Villano, I.; Cibelli, G.; Valenzano, A.; Monda, M.; Murabito, P.; Mollica, M.P.; Messina, G.; Viggiano, A. Autoalgometry: An Important Tool for Pressure Pain Threshold Evaluation. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7, 273.

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