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Ultrasound therapy reduces persistent post-thoracotomy tactile allodynia and spinal substance P expression in rats
  1. Heng-Teng Lin1,2,
  2. Chong-Chi Chiu3,4,
  3. Chen-Chih Liu5,
  4. Yu-Wen Chen6,7,
  5. Jhi-Joung Wang6,8 and
  6. Ching-Hsia Hung5,9
  1. 1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Madou Sin-Lau Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan
  2. 2 Department of Nursing, Chung Hwa University of Medical Technology, Tainan, Taiwan
  3. 3 Department of General Surgery, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan and Liouying, Taiwan
  4. 4 Department of Electrical Engineering, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan, Taiwan
  5. 5 Department of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
  6. 6 Department of Medical Research, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
  7. 7 Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Care, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
  8. 8 Allied AI Biomed Center, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan, Taiwan
  9. 9 Institute of Allied Health Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ching-Hsia Hung; chhung{at}mail.ncku.edu.tw

Abstract

Background Therapeutic ultrasound (TU) alleviates nerve injury-associated pain, while the molecular mechanisms are less clear. This is an investigator-initiated experimental study to evaluate the mechanisms and effects of ultrasound on prolonged post-thoracotomy pain in a rodent model.

Methods The rats were randomly separated into four groups (n=8 per group): sham-operation (sham; group 1), thoracotomy and rib retraction (TRR; group 2), and TRR procedure followed by TU (TRR+TU-3; group 3) or TU with the ultrasound power turned off (TRR+TU-0; group 4). TU was delivered daily, beginning on postoperative day 11 (POD 11) for the next 2 weeks. Mechanical sensitivity, subcutaneous tissue temperature, and spinal substance P and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) were evaluated on PODs 11 and 23.

Results Group 3, which received ultrasound treatment (3 MHz; 1.0 W/cm2) for 5 min each day, demonstrated higher mechanical withdrawal thresholds when compared with the group without ultrasound intervention (group 2) or sham ultrasound (group 4). Ultrasound treatment also inhibited the upregulation of spinal substance P and IL-1β measured from spinal cord dorsal horns extract and increased subcutaneous temperature.

Conclusions The results of this study suggest an increase in mechanical withdrawal thresholds and subcutaneous temperature, as well as a downregulation of spinal substance P and IL-1β, in the group which received ultrasound treatment. The regulation of spinal substance P and IL-1β may mediate potential effects of this non-invasive treatment.

  • ultrasound therapy
  • post-thoracotomy allodynia
  • subcutaneous tissue temperature
  • spinal cord
  • interleukin-1β
  • substance P
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Footnotes

  • H-TL and J-JW are joint first authors.

  • Y-WC and C-HH contributed equally.

  • Contributors H-TL helped in the study concept and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of the manuscript, and statistical analysis. C-CC helped in the acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of the manuscript, and statistical analysis. C-CL helped in the acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, and drafting of the manuscript. Y-WC helped in the study concept and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of the manuscript, critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, statistical analysis, administrative, technical and material support, and study supervision. J-JW helped in the study concept and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of the manuscript, and statistical analysis. C-HH helped in the study concept and design, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of the manuscript, critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, statistical analysis, obtained funding, administrative, technical and material support, and study supervision.

  • Funding Financial support was provided by a grant (SLH-M106-02) from Madou Sin-Lau Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The protocols were approved by the Experimental Animal Committee of National Cheng Kung University and were conducted according to the IASP ethical guidelines.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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