Persistent Pain Induced by Uniportal Video-assisted Thoracic Surgery

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    National Taiwan University Hospital
Updated on 29 January 2023


The investigators investigate the prevalence of PTPS in patients receiving with uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), and early identify neuropathic pain as well as treated with neural protective strategy to target intercostal nerve.


More than 30% of patients have persistent pain after thoracic surgery. Intercostal neuralgia is characterized by neuropathic pain in the distribution of affected intercostal nerve(s) (along the ribs, chest, or abdomen) that commonly manifests as a sharp, aching, radiating, burning, or stabbing pain and may be associated with paresthesia such as numbness and tingling. The pain may be intermittent or constant and typically presents as a band-like pain that is wrapped around the chest and back or in a thoracic dermatomal pattern. Pain may last for a prolonged period and may continue long after the disease process has subsided.

Hypertonic dextrose injection (prolotherapy) is reported to reduce pain, including non-surgical chronic low back pain (CLBP), and subcutaneous injection of 5% dextrose is said to minimize neurogenic pain hyperalgesia and allodynia. The mechanism in both cases is unclear, though a direct effect of dextrose on neurogenic pain has been proposed. This study assessed the short-term analgesic effects of epidural 5% dextrose injection compared with saline for non-surgical CLBP.

Intercostal nerve damage is a suspected pathogenic mechanism for developing post-thoracotomy pain syndrome (PTPS). Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive procedure that potentially reduces PTPS. However, there was no specific outcome study for uniportal VATS.

In this study, the investigators investigate the prevalence of PTPS in patients receiving uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), identify neuropathic pain early, and treat it with a neural protective strategy to target intercostal pain nerve.

Condition Post-thoracotomy Pain Syndrome
Treatment 5% DW perineural injection
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05379816
SponsorNational Taiwan University Hospital
Last Modified on29 January 2023

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