Comparison of hyperalgesia induced by capsaicin injection and controlled heat injury: effect on temporal summation

Yucel A., Miyazawa A., Andersen O., Arendt-Nielsen L.

SOMATOSENSORY AND MOTOR RESEARCH, vol.21, no.1, pp.15-24, 2004 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/0899022042000201263
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.15-24
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


The relationship between induction of central sensitization and facilitation of temporal summation to repetitive stimulation is still unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate temporal summation before and after the induction of secondary hyperalgesia by two different experimental methods: capsaicin injection and controlled heat injury. The effect of each injury model was assessed on a separate day with an interval of at least 5 days. Twelve healthy volunteers participated. Each experiment was performed using electrical, radiant heat, mechanical impact, and punctuate stimuli consecutively. The pain threshold ( PT) to a single stimulus and the summation threshold to five repetitive stimuli for electrical ( 2 Hz) and radiant heat ( 0.83 Hz) were assessed within the secondary hyperalgesic area. The degree of temporal summation for stimulus intensities of 0.8, 1.0, and 1.2 times the baseline pain thresholds were evaluated by the increase in visual analogue scale ( VAS) scores from the first to the fifth stimulus of the train. Further, the degrees of temporal summation were assessed for mechanical impact and punctuate stimuli within the primary and secondary hyperalgesic areas. The contra-lateral forearm served as control ( no injury). The pain threshold and the summation threshold to electrical and heat stimuli decreased significantly within the secondary hyperalgesic area after the injury induced by both heat injury or capsaicin injection. However, there was no temporal summation for heat and electrical stimuli in either model. In contrast, for the mechanical impact and punctuate mechanical stimuli the degree of temporal summation was significantly facilitated in the secondary hyperalgesic areas compared with the baseline and the control arm in both models. In the primary hyperalgesic area, the degree of temporal summation was facilitated to mechanical impact and punctuate stimuli but only following the capsaicin injection. In conclusion, the temporal summation mechanism for mechanical stimuli was facilitated in the secondary hyperalgesic area.