Pediatric rheumatology online journal

Functional resonance magnetic imaging (fMRI) in adolescents with idiopathic musculoskeletal pain: a paradigm of experimental pain.

PMID 29137644


Studies on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have shown that adults with musculoskeletal pain syndromes tolerate smaller amount of pressure (pain) as well as differences in brain activation patterns in areas related to pain.The objective of this study was to evaluate, through fMRI, the brain activation in adolescents with idiopathic musculoskeletal pain (IMP) while performing an experimental paradigm of pain. The study included 10 consecutive adolescents with idiopathic musculoskeletal pain (average age 16.3±1.0) and 10 healthy adolescents age-matched. fMRI exams were performed in a 3 T scanner (Magnetom Trio, Siemens) using an event-related design paradigm. Pressure stimuli were performed in the nondominant hand thumb, divided into two stages, fixed pain and variable pain. The two local Research Ethics Committees (Ethics Committee from Universidade Federal de São Paulo- Brazil, process number 0688/11, on July 1st, 2011 and Ethics Committee from Hospital Israelita Albert Einsten - Brazil, process number 1673, on October 19th, 2011) approved the study. The idiopathic musculoskeletal pain (IMP) group showed a reduced threshold for pain (3.7 kg/cm Adolescents with idiopathic musculoskeletal pain (IMP) tend to request higher brain function in cognitive-emotional areas when interpreting unpredictable sensory-perceptual situations. Therefore, it is assumed that this difference in pain processing in adolescents with IMP make the subjective experience of pain something more intense and unpleasant.