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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Objective</jats:title> <jats:p>The development of persistent pain following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is common, but its underlying mechanisms are unknown. The goal of the study was to assess brain grey matter structure and its correlation with function of the nociceptive system in people with good and poor outcomes following TKA.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Subjects</jats:title> <jats:p>Thirty-one people with LOW_PAIN (&amp;lt;3/10 on the numerical ratings scale [NRS]) at six months following TKA and 15 people with HIGH_PAIN (≥3/10 on the NRS) were recruited into the study.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Methods</jats:title> <jats:p>Grey matter in key brain areas related to nociception was analyzed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Nociceptive facilitatory and inhibitory processes were evaluated using quantitative sensory testing (QST). QST scores and grey matter density in prespecified brain regions were compared between the LOW_PAIN and HIGH_PAIN groups. Regression analyses were used to analyze the associations between the grey matter and QST scores.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Results</jats:title> <jats:p>There were no between-group differences in QST measures. In the VBM analysis, the HIGH_PAIN group had a higher grey matter density in the right amygdala, right nucleus accumbens, and in the periaqueductal grey (PAG), but lower grey matter density in the dorsal part of the left caudate nucleus. Grey matter density in the right amygdala and PAG correlated positively with temporal summation of pain.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title> <jats:p>Persistent pain at six months after TKA is associated with a higher grey matter density in the regions involved in central sensitization and pain-related fear, which may contribute to the development of persistent pain after surgery.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Original publication




Journal article


Pain Medicine


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date