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Differential diagnosis of neuropathic pain

https://doi.org/10.14412/2074-2711-2015-1-4-10

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Abstract

Neuropathic pain is an acute or chronic pain caused by damage to or dysfunction of the peripheral and/or central nervous system. Neuropathic pain is a direct sequel of damage to or disease of the somatosensory nervous system. The paper presents the definition, international diagnostic criteria, clinical and diagnostic features, and causes of neuropathic pain syndrome, differences between nociceptive and neuropathic pain, the classification of major neuropathic pain syndromes, and the DN4 questionnaire to identify neuropathic pain. It shows a substantial clinical and pathophysiological similarity of neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia and gives preliminary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia. 

The differential diagnosis of neuropathic, nociceptive, and psychogenic pain and the determination of the level of damage to the nervous system and a leading pathogenetic mechanism of neuropathic pain syndrome require not only meticulous clinical examination of the sensory sphere, but also neurophysiological examination including electroneuromyography, somatosensory evoked potential recording, quantitative sensory testing, and, in a number of cases, neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging) or morphological (intraepidermal nerve fiber density examination) verification of injury somatosensory afferents. 

About the Authors

Yu. N. Bykov
Irkutsk State Medical University, Ministry of Health of Russia, Irkutsk, Russia 1, Krasnogo Vosstaniya St., Irkutsk 664003
Russian Federation


A. N. Kalyagin
Irkutsk State Medical University, Ministry of Health of Russia, Irkutsk, Russia 1, Krasnogo Vosstaniya St., Irkutsk 664003
Russian Federation


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For citation:


Bykov Y.N., Kalyagin A.N. Differential diagnosis of neuropathic pain. Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics. 2015;7(1):4-10. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.14412/2074-2711-2015-1-4-10

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