Published in Anesthesiology 2 2015.
Authors: Antonio Montes, M.D., Ph.D. et al
Background: Chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) has been linked to many surgical settings. The authors aimed to analyze functional genetic polymorphisms and clinical factors that might identify CPSP risk after inguinal hernia repair, hysterectomy, and thoracotomy.
Methods: This prospective multicenter cohort study enrolled 2,929 patients scheduled for inguinal hernia repair, hysterectomy (vaginal or abdominal), or thoracotomy. The main outcome was the incidence of CPSP confirmed by physical examination 4 months after surgery. The secondary outcome was CPSP incidences at 12 and 24 months. The authors also tested the associations between CPSP and 90 genetic markers plus a series of clinical factors and built a CPSP risk model.
Results: Within a median of 4.4 months, CPSP had developed in 527 patients (18.0%), in 13.6% after hernia repair, 11.8% after vaginal hysterectomy, 25.1% after abdominal hysterectomy, and 37.6% after thoracotomy. CPSP persisted after a median of 14.6 months and 26.3 months in 6.2% and 4.1%, respectively, after hernia repair, 4.1% and 2.2% after vaginal hysterectomy, 9.9% and 6.7% after abdominal hysterectomy, and 19.1% and 13.2% after thoracotomy. No significant genetic differences between cases and controls were identified. The risk model included six clinical predictors: (1) surgical procedure, (2) age, (3) physical health (Short Form Health Survey-12), (4) mental health (Short Form Health Survey-12), (5) preoperative pain in the surgical field, and (6) preoperative pain in another area. Discrimination was moderate (c-statistic, 0.731; 95% CI, 0.705 to 0.755).
Conclusions: Until unequivocal genetic predictors of CPSP are understood, the authors encourage systematic use of clinical factors for predicting and managing CPSP risk.