Reference Values and Clinical Screening Test of Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Controls (DNIC)

  • End date
    Jun 30, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Université de Sherbrooke
Updated on 2 May 2021
chronic pain


Chronic pain (CP) is disabling for people triggering important costs for society. A deficit of diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNIC) is one of the CP mechanisms. DNICs are evaluated in research setting using a CPM protocol (conditioned pain modulation). There is a lack of reference values on the effectiveness of DNICs. Wider research on DNIC will help to understand CP and to develop a clinical screening test evaluating DNICs.


This study aims:

  1. To establish baseline values of DNICs using CPM protocol
  2. To identify the variables that will be integrated in the algorithm of the clinical screening test (clinical decision rule).

First the target population will be healthy volunteers, male and female, stratified by age. The reference values will be established via a non-parametric method for a standard CPM protocol in which two different pain stimuli are applied. Two "stimuli tests" of the same intensity and nature (heat) will be applied before and after the application of another "conditioning stimulus" (cold water bath). The perceived pain difference between the 1st and 2nd stimuli tests will reflect the intensity of the DNICs.

Secondly, these results will be compared to those from volunteers suffering of chronic pain. The clinical decision rule will result from clinical and paraclinical elements correlating with the amplitude of the efficacy of CPM (serum noradrenaline, intensity of pain, heart rate and blood pressure measurements, psychometric questionnaires assessing anxiety, depressive feelings and pain catastrophizing). Logistic regression analysis will determine the best predictors of a CPM deficit.

Condition Pain, Chronic Pain, Post-Surgical Pain, Pain (Pediatric), chronic pains
Treatment Conditioned pain modulation
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03376867
SponsorUniversité de Sherbrooke
Last Modified on2 May 2021


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Inclusion Criteria

Is your age between 18 yrs and 79 yrs?
Gender: Male or Female
Do you have any of these conditions: Pain (Pediatric) or Pain or Post-Surgical Pain or Chronic Pain?
Do you have any of these conditions: Post-Surgical Pain or Pain (Pediatric) or Pain or Chronic Pain or chronic pains?
Do you have any of these conditions: Chronic Pain or Pain or chronic pains or Pain (Pediatric) or Post-Surgical Pain?
Do you have any of these conditions: Pain or chronic pains or Pain (Pediatric) or Post-Surgical Pain or Chronic Pain?
-79 years old
Able to provide consent

Exclusion Criteria

cardiovascular disease (arrhythmia, cerebrovascular accident, infarction...)
Raynaud syndrome
severe psychiatric disease (dementia, schizophrenia, psychosis, major depression)
injuries or loss sensitivity to their forearms or hands
pregnant women or in post-partum period (<1 year)
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