Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pain processes in tennis elbow illuminated by PET scanning

Date:
October 28, 2013
Source:
Uppsala Universitet
Summary:
Physiological processes in soft tissue pain, such as chronic tennis elbow, can be explored using diagnostic imaging methods. A new use of positron emission tomography (PET) and a tracer for the signal receptor NK1 for visualising a physiological process is associated with pain imaging.

Physiological processes in soft tissue pain such as chronic tennis elbow can be explored using diagnostic imaging methods. This is demonstrated by researchers from Uppsala University and the results are now being published in the prestigious journal PLOS ONE. The pain physician and researcher Magnus Peterson is presenting a new use of positron emission tomography (PET) and a tracer for the signal receptor NK1 for visualising a physiological process associated with pain.

Chronic pain is a major problem, with considerable socioeconomic costs and suffering of the individual. Musculoskeletal pain is the most common type of pain and is one of the most common reasons for consultation in health care. However, pain from soft tissues, (i.e. pain from muscles, tendons and ligaments) is still lacking effective methods for localization and diagnosis of underlying pathophysiological mechanisms.

This means that diagnosis still depends on clinical examination, which provides no guidance regarding what mechanisms might underlie the pain. Consequently, treatment proceeds purely on an empirical basis. An improved diagnostic method that allows not only diagnosis of localisation of the painful tissue processes, but also can provide guidance regarding what pathophysiological mechanisms are involved, would therefore be highly valuable.

Magnus Peterson has worked with positron emission tomography (PET), a tool for diagnostic imaging, in combination with a specific tracer for the signal receptor NK1. The tracer is injected into the blood where it circulates through the body and binds to available NK1 receptors. The signal from the radioactive tracer can then be captured as an image outside the body using PET.

This is the first time an up-regulation of NK1 receptors has been visualized by diagnostic imaging in painful tissue in humans. The study clearly reveals an image of elevated levels of NK1 in the painful area compared with the healthy arm. 

Following tissue damage there is an up-regulation of the neuropeptide substance P and its receptor NK1. This occurs not only in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, but also in the peripheral painful tissue. This up-regulation is part of an interaction between peripheral nerves, immune cells, and the tissue itself that seems to help guide the body’s own repair process. In chronic tennis elbow, this up-regulation of the substance P-NK1 system lingers on. This is what the researchers have managed to visualize with the help of PET and the marker for NK1.

The method is promising, but the costs are still high. PET is a complicated procedure, which requires costly equipment.

In the future, we hope to be able to develop less expensive markers that enable us to use the method in everyday clinical practice. We also aim to create markers for other physiological processes that we know are active in chronic soft tissue pain, says Magnus Peterson.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Uppsala Universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Magnus Peterson, Kurt Svärdsudd, Lieuwe Appel, Henry Engler, Mikko Aarnio, Torsten Gordh, Bengt Långström, Jens Sörensen. PET-Scan Shows Peripherally Increased Neurokinin 1 Receptor Availability in Chronic Tennis Elbow: Visualizing Neurogenic Inflammation? PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (10): e75859 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075859

Cite This Page:

Uppsala Universitet. "Pain processes in tennis elbow illuminated by PET scanning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028090419.htm>.
Uppsala Universitet. (2013, October 28). Pain processes in tennis elbow illuminated by PET scanning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028090419.htm
Uppsala Universitet. "Pain processes in tennis elbow illuminated by PET scanning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028090419.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) — Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins