Pain Group: Don't Use Neuroimaging to Confirm Chronic Pain — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
September 11, 2017

Pain Group: Don't Use Neuroimaging to Confirm Chronic Pain

By Kelly Young

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

Brain imaging should not be used to prove whether a patient has chronic pain, a presidential task force of the International Association for the Study of Painsays in Nature Reviews Neurology.

The group describes some of the problems with using imaging as a "lie detector" for chronic pain, including patient variability and the difficulty of inferring pain from a particular brain pattern.

They conclude: "Today, the necessary scientific knowledge — including the specificity and sensitivity of such tests — and validated protocols to enable use of brain imaging evidence in the legal system do not exist. Until they do, use of brain-based measurements that do not meet minimum standards would be detrimental to health care and legal systems, potentially harmful to patients and claimants, and legally inappropriate (and consequently unethical). In our view, current brain-based measures fall short of the requisite standards for legal proceedings, but we do encourage their use for understanding brain mechanisms that underlie pain, factors that lead to persistence of pain, and targets in the brain for safe and effective pain control."

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.