Central pain modulation in children with functional abdominal pain related disorders.

Roselien Pas, Sophie Van Oosterwijck, Mira Meeus, Laurence Leysen, Emma Rheel, Els Van de Vijver, Jo Nijs, Kelly Ickmans

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster


Introduction: Functional abdominal pain related disorders (FAPD) are common among young individuals. To date, relatively little is known regarding the function of the central pain mechanisms in this vulnerable group. Therefore, this study aimed to compare conditioned pain modulation (CPM), pressure algometry and psychosocial variables in young children (aged 6-12 years) with FAPD and healthy controls. Methods: Thirty-nine children diagnosed with FAPD were compared with 36 age –and sex matched pain-free controls. Pressure algometry was used to assess pressure pain thresholds at both symptomatic (umbilicus) and non-symptomatic (trapezius and tibia) test sites. CPM was recorded as an increase in the pain pressure threshold at the trapezius test site in response to experimental conditioning pain imposed by the cold pressure task (12°C ± 1°C). The assessors were blinded to the type of subject assessed. Parent-proxy and/or self-reported questionnaires were used to assess pain intensity, functional disability, pain-related fear and parental pain catastrophizing. Results: Compared with pain-free controls, young children with FAPD showed lower pressure pain thresholds at all test sides (P<0.05), a less efficient CPM response (P=0.02), more functional disability (P<0.001) and pain related fear (P<0.001). Parents of children with FAPD catastrophized more about their child’s pain than parents of healthy controls (P<0.001). Discussion: Young children with FAPD demonstrated less efficient central pain modulation. Future research should control for psychosocial variables while testing CPM, given their direct effect on descending pain modulation through activation of the facilitatory pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 18 Jun 2019
Event12th International Symposium on Pediatric Pain - Congress Center Basel (CCB), Basel, Switzerland
Duration: 16 Jun 201920 Jun 2019


Conference12th International Symposium on Pediatric Pain


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