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Long term consequences of early infant injury and trauma upon somatosensory processing

Schmelzle-Lubiecki, Beate Maria; (2005) Long term consequences of early infant injury and trauma upon somatosensory processing. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access


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The aim of the study was to investigate long-term consequences of early infant injury upon somatosensory processing. Quantitative sensory testing (QST) was used as a measure of cutaneous sensory thresholds in areas of scarring and control areas in children that had previously undergone surgery or traumatic intensive care procedures in infancy. The first group tested were adolescents, born premature and cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and the second group were children who had had cardiac surgery in the neonatal period. Results were compared with those from age-matched controls. The scars resulting from NICU in the first cohort were scarce, on variable locations and small in size. Nevertheless some trends and patterns were seen, but not sufficiently large for a bigger study of NICU survivors with similar degrees of scarring. In this participant group no global difference in thresholds was demonstrated, but in the questionnaire the NICU survivor group had significantly lower scores compared to the control group when reporting amounts of worst pain intensities for common pains. In the cardiac surgery group participants were less sensitive to touch perception over the reference area compared to the control group and their scar areas were less sensitive for cool, warm and touch perception than any other site tested. They also reported an immediate feeling of "hot" and the missing of "warm" sensation over their scars. Comparing answers of scar and control group in the pain questionnaire, there was no evidence of different pain experience in daily life. We conclude that tissue injured in early infancy remains measurably altered to mechanical and thermal stimulation in later life and can confirm that early infant injury has not only local, but also global long-term consequences upon sensory processing.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Long term consequences of early infant injury and trauma upon somatosensory processing
Identifier: PQ ETD:602410
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: ?? IC6B ??
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446485
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