Quantitative sensory testing (QST) is widely used to assess somatosensory function by application of controlled stimuli across a variety of modalities. The aim of a recent meta-analysis was to synthesize QST results across a wide array of studies of patients with migraine to identify the QST parameters that are reliably different between patients with migraine and healthy controls. In addition, researchers sought to determine whether such differences vary according to stimulus location. A comprehensive literature search (up to January 2017) was conducted, with 65 studies being included. For each QST modality, researchers calculated up to 3 meta-analyses for combined (combined data from multiple testing locations), local (head and neck), and nonlocal (outside the head or neck) locations. Key points included:
- Lower heat and pressure pain thresholds were observed in patients with migraine compared with healthy controls in the combined locations.
- Importantly, lower pressure pain threshold in patients with migraine was found in local areas but not in nonlocal areas.
- In addition, patients with migraine had higher pain ratings to cold suprathreshold stimuli for combined and nonlocal areas, and higher pain ratings to electrical suprathreshold stimuli for nonlocal areas.
Quantitative sensory testing in patients with migraine: A systemic review and meta-analysis. [Published online ahead of print May 17, 2018]. Pain. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001231.