Background: Chronic pain after thoracotomy has been reproduced in a rat model that allows investigation of drugs that might reduce the incidence of allodynia after thoracotomy. Previous studies suggest that morphine, clonidine, neostigmine, gabapentin, and bupivacaine reduce the incidence of allodynia in the rat postthoracotomy pain model. One purpose of this study was to test whether intercostal injection of resiniferatoxin (RTX) decreased the amount of allodynia in an animal model of chronic postthoracotomy pain. We also tested whether RTX induced a transient mechanical hyperalgesic response in uninjured animals. Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized, and the right fourth and fifth ribs were surgically exposed. The pleura was opened, and the ribs were retracted. Intercostal RTX 0.8 or 8 μg was injected in animals that developed allodynia after surgery; a control group underwent rib retraction and received vehicle only. An additional group of uninjured animals received RTX. Rats were tested for mechanical allodynia at a predetermined area around the incision site for 3 wk. Results: Allodynia developed in 42% of the animals that underwent thoracotomy. A transient hyperalgesic response was noted in the uninjured group that underwent drug injections. Intercostal RTX did not modify the course of allodynia in injured rats. Discussion: The current results suggest that intercostal RTX causes a transient hyperalgesic response in uninjured animals and is ineffective in reducing the mechanical allodynia after thoracotomy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine