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Thermal QST to determine drug efficacy

A recent collaborative study by J. Schliessbach and colleagues [1], from Switzerland, Canada, Denmark and the US aimed to investigate if thermal QST can predict analgesic effects of oxycodone, imipramine and clobazam in chronic low back pain.

Oxycodone 15 mg (n = 50), imipramine 75 mg (n = 50) and clobazam 20 mg (n = 49) were compared to 1 mg of active placebo tolterodine, in a randomized, double‐blind, crossover fashion.


Thermal QST was performed using the TSA-II with a standard 30×30 mm probe at baseline and after 1 and 2 hours following medication.

Schliessbach and colleagues reported that thermal QST was associated with analgesic effect of imipramine: patients who were more sensitive to heat or cold, were also more likely to experience an analgesic effect of imipramine.


[1] Schliessbach, J., Siegenthaler, A., Bütikofer, L., Vuilleumier, P., Jüni, P., Stamer, U., ... & Curatolo, M. (2018). Predicting drug efficacy in chronic low back pain by quantitative sensory tests. European journal of pain, 22(5), 973-988.

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