Factors influencing pricking pain threshold using a CO2 laser

Year: 2003

Authors: Voegelin M.R., Zoppi M., Meucci R., Jafrancesco D., Bartoli A.

Autors Affiliation: Medical Physics, Clinical Physiopathology Department, Florence University, Florence, Italy;
Internal Medicine Institute, Florence University, Florence, Italy;
Istituto Nazionale di Ottica Applicata, Largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Firenze, Italy

Abstract: The purpose of this study was the evaluation of the best experimental conditions in healthy subjects for the measurement of the minimal thermal energy density E-t which induced pricking pain on the volar surface of the left forearm by means of CO2 laser pulses. E-t was measured on a well-defined area, using laser pulses of different durations and constant power P. The dependence of E-t on the stimulus power P, the size A of the radiated area and the surface temperature T-e were explored. In the first part of the study, these relations were obtained using a computer program, from the calculated spatio-ternporal distribution of the skin temperature during, and following, a laser pulse which caused pricking pain. The second part studied a set of subsequent measurements carried out on a group of five healthy trained subjects and agreed only in part with the calculated data. We found that the measurement error on E-t was less than 10% with P between 1.5 and 3 W, and A between 0.15 and 0.25 cm(2), respectively. The influence of sensitization and adaptation phenomena on the measured data was, also explored. We also show a rhythmic annual change of T-e and E-t.


Volume: 24 (1)      Pages from: 57  to: 73

KeyWords: Article; Carbon dioxide laser; Computer program; Controlled study; Forearm; Human experiment; Normal human; Pain threshold; Priority journal; Sensitization; Skin temperature; Skin tingling; Thermal exposure, Adult; Carbon Dioxide; Forearm; Humans; Lasers; Male; Middle Aged; Models, Theoretical; Pain Measurement; Pain Threshold; Reference Values; Skin; Thermodynamics, Ilex cookii
DOI: 10.1088/0967-3334/24/1/305

Citations: 6
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