The deterioration of sensory-motor integration within the pain matrix in patients with chronic Disorders of Consciousness (DoC) is one of the principal mechanisms responsible for non-conscious pain perception. The present study aimed to assess whether the variability in the inter-peak interval (IPI) between the N2 and P2 components of laser evoked potentials (LEP) could represent an objective marker of the behavioral responsiveness to nociceptive stimulation, as measured by the Nociception Coma Scale-Revised (NCS-R), and regardless of the sensory part of pain processing. We found that only IPI variability showed a significant correlation with NCS-R score, independently of the stimulation intensity (that influences the sensory part of pain processing). It was thus concluded that IPI variability might represent an objective measure of pain processing, which may help clinicians in the development of effective pain management strategies.
- Journal Article