Neuropathic pain in patients with cancer.
We provide a detailed description of painful neural lesions in hospitalized patients with cancer. A total of 187 consecutive patients with cancer and pain, referred to the pain service of a cancer hospital, were evaluated within 24 hours by two neurologists and followed until discharge or death. Based on history, pain descriptors, physical examination, and radiological and electrophysiological studies, the pain was categorized as neuropathic in 103 patients. The most frequent sites of neurological injury were nerve roots, spinal cord and cauda equina, brachial and lumbosacral plexus, and peripheral nerves. There were no patients with pain caused by injury to the brain. In 93 of these patients, the pain was caused by ongoing neural injury, while, in 10 patients, the neural injury was old and stable. Within these two groups of patients with neuropathic pain, analgesic treatments differed. Prospective studies may determine if categorizing painful neurological injuries in cancer patients based on inferred pathophysiology is useful when deciding among different treatment options.
Manfredi, PL; Gonzales, GR; Sady, R; Chandler, S; Payne, R
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