Heterotopic ischemic pain attenuates somatosensory evoked potentials induced by electrical tooth stimulation: Diffuse noxious inhibitory controls in the trigeminal nerve territory

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether the late component of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) induced by electrical tooth stimulation and pain intensity are inhibited by heterotopic ischemic stimulation. The tourniquet pressure with 50 mmHg greater than the individual's systolic pressure was applied to the left upper arm for 10 min as ischemic conditioning stimulation. The late component of SEP and visual analogue scale (VAS) were recorded at 4 times and both were significantly decreased when ischemic conditioning stimulation was applied. The maximum reductions in SEP amplitude and the VAS value were 26.1% and 21.2%, respectively, during ischemic conditioning stimulation. After-effect was observed 5 min after removal of the conditioning stimulation. The present study revealed that heterotopic ischemic stimulation attenuated the late component of SEP induced by electrical tooth stimulation, triggering diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNIC) and after-effects in the trigeminal nerve territory. It was also suggested that the DNIC effect differs, depending on the intensity, kind, and quality of the test and conditioning stimuli.

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