PMID: 7936715Jun 1, 1994Paper

Extra-territorial pain in rats with a peripheral mononeuropathy: mechano-hyperalgesia and mechano-allodynia in the territory of an uninjured nerve

M Tal, G J Bennett


The abnormal pain sensations that accompany peripheral neuropathies are sometimes found in a distribution that does not coincide with the territories of nerves or posterior roots. This 'extra-territorial' pain is one of the lines of evidence that has been advanced to support the proposal that these patients suffer from a psychogenic disorder. In the present experiments, rats were prepared with a unilateral chronic constriction injury (CCI) to the sciatic nerve. Beginning on the first postoperative day and continuing for at least 18 days, exaggerated withdrawal reflexes to pinprick stimulation, indicative of mechano-hyperalgesia, were seen on the side of nerve injury in the hindpaw territories of both the injured sciatic nerve and the uninjured saphenous nerve. Beginning on postoperative day 4 and continuing for at least the next 3 weeks, the withdrawal responses to von Frey hair stimulation on the nerve-injured side occurred at a significantly lower threshold, indicating the presence of mechano-allodynia. The severity and time course of the mechano-allodynia were similar in both nerve territories. When tested 18 days after the CCI, mechano-allodynia in the saphenous territory was abolished by an acute saphenous transection, but...Continue Reading


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