Low-dose fentanyl reduces pain perception, muscle sympathetic nerve activity responses, and blood pressure responses during the cold pressor test

Joseph C. Watso, Mu Huang, Luke N. Belval, Frank A. Cimino, Caitlin P. Jarrard, Joseph M. Hendrix, Carmen Hinojosa-Laborde, Craig G. Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our knowledge about how low-dose (analgesic) fentanyl affects autonomic cardiovascular regulation is primarily limited to animal experiments. Notably, it is unknown if low-dose fentanyl influences human autonomic cardiovascular responses during painful stimuli in humans. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that low-dose fentanyl reduces perceived pain and subsequent sympathetic and cardiovascular responses in humans during an experimental noxious stimulus. Twenty-three adults (10 females/13 males; 27 ± 7 yr; 26 ± 3 kg·m-2, means ± SD) completed this randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled trial during two laboratory visits. During each visit, participants completed a cold pressor test (CPT; hand in ~0.4C ice bath for 2 min) before and 5 min after drug/placebo administration (75 μg fentanyl or saline). We compared pain perception (100-mm visual analog scale), muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA; microneurography, 11 paired recordings), and beat-to-beat blood pressure (BP; photoplethysmography) between trials (at both pre- and postdrug/placebo timepoints) using paired, two-tailed t tests. Before drug/placebo administration, perceived pain (P = 0.8287), DMSNA burst frequency (P = 0.7587), and Dmean BP (P = 0.8649) during the CPT were not different between trials. After the drug/placebo administration, fentanyl attenuated perceived pain (36 vs. 66 mm, P < 0.0001), DMSNA burst frequency (9 vs. 17 bursts/min, P = 0.0054), and Dmean BP (7 vs. 13 mmHg, P = 0.0174) during the CPT compared with placebo. Fentanyl-induced reductions in pain perception and Dmean BP were moderately related (r = 0.40, P = 0.0641). These data provide valuable information regarding how low-dose fentanyl reduces autonomic cardiovascular responses during an experimental painful stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-76
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume322
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Algometry
  • Cerebral tissue oxygenation
  • Opioids
  • Respiration
  • Sympathoexcitatory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Low-dose fentanyl reduces pain perception, muscle sympathetic nerve activity responses, and blood pressure responses during the cold pressor test'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this