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Peripheral sensory function in non-freezing cold injury patients and matched controls

Wright, Jennifer; Massey, Heather; Hollis, Sarah; Vale, Tom; Bennett, David Lh; Maley, Matthew; Montgomery, Hugh; ... Eglin, Clare; + view all (2023) Peripheral sensory function in non-freezing cold injury patients and matched controls. Experimental Physiology , 108 (3) pp. 438-447. 10.1113/EP090720. Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare peripheral sensory neural function of individuals with non-freezing cold injury (NFCI) with matched controls (without NFCI) with either similar (COLD) or minimal previous cold exposure (CON). Thirteen individuals with chronic NFCI in their feet were matched with the control groups for sex, age, race, fitness, body mass index and foot volume. All undertook quantitative sensory testing (QST) on the foot. Intraepidermal nerve fibre density (IENFD) was assessed 10 cm above the lateral malleolus in nine NFCI and 12 COLD participants. Warm detection threshold was higher at the great toe in NFCI than COLD (NFCI 45.93 (4.71)°C vs. COLD 43.44 (2.72)°C, P = 0.046), but was non-significantly different from CON (CON 43.92 (5.01)°C, P = 0.295). Mechanical detection threshold on the dorsum of the foot was higher in NFCI (23.61 (33.59) mN) than in CON (3.83 (3.69) mN, P = 0.003), but was non-significantly different from COLD (10.49 (5.76) mN, P > 0.999). Remaining QST measures did not differ significantly between groups. IENFD was lower in NFCI than COLD (NFCI 8.47 (2.36) fibre/mm2 vs. COLD 11.93 (4.04) fibre/mm2, P = 0.020). Elevated warm and mechanical detection thresholds may indicate hyposensitivity to sensory stimuli in the injured foot for individuals with NFCI and may be due to reduced innervation given the reduction in IENFD. Longitudinal studies are required to identify the progression of sensory neuropathy from the formation of injury to its resolution, with appropriate control groups employed.

Type: Article
Title: Peripheral sensory function in non-freezing cold injury patients and matched controls
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1113/EP090720
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1113/EP090720
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Experimental Physiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Physiological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: cold injury, intra epidermal nerve fibre density, neural, pathophysiology, quantitative sensory testing, sensory function, sensory neuropathy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Experimental and Translational Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10166205
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