Different autonomic responses to experimental pain in IBS patients and healthy controls.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Pain perception ratings in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients suggest that they present either hypoalgesia or hyperalgesia. However, little is known about the physiologic responses these patients present to a somatic painful stimulus. GOALS: The main goal of this project was to study autonomic nervous system responses and the cardiac response to experimental pain in IBS patients. STUDY: This was addressed by exposing 27 women, 14 IBS, and 13 healthy controls (HCs), to a cold water (7 degrees C) immersion test of the forefoot for 2 minutes. Pain perception, galvanic skin responses (GSR), and heart rate (HR) were monitored during and after the immersion. RESULTS: For comparable pain perception, a significant group difference (P<0.02) in the cardiac response was observed during the immersion where the peak rise in HR was much higher for HCs, reaching 22%, whereas it only reached 8% for IBS patients. Moreover, HR variability analysis demonstrated that IBS and HCs had opposite autonomic cardiac reactivity to pain, where IBS had increased parasympathetic/decreased sympathetic reactivity. CONCLUSIONS: For comparable pain perception, IBS subject demonstrated different autonomic nervous system response to pain, which supports the view of autonomic dysregulation in IBS.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Tousignant-Laflamme, Y; Goffaux, P; Bourgault, P; Marchand, S

Published Date

  • October 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 814 - 820

PubMed ID

  • 17016138

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17016138

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1539-2031

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0192-0790

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/01.mcg.0000225607.56352.ce


  • eng