Effect of intermittent normobaric hyperoxia for treatment of neuropathic pain in Chinese patients with spinal cord injury.

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      Study design:Prospective, randomized and controlled study.Objectives:The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of intermittent normobaric hyperoxia (InHO) for treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI).Setting:The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanhua University, Hengyang, Hunan Province, China.Methods:Patients with SCI from Hunan Province were recruited from the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanhua University. History, duration, localization and characteristics of pain were recorded. Visual analog scale (VAS), the Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) and Short Form-36 walk-wheel (SF-36ww) was used to investigate the effect of InHO. Patients were randomly assigned to study and control groups. In study group, patients were exposed to pure oxygen via non-rebreathing reservoir mask, which increased the provided oxygen at a rate of 7 l min−1 for 1 or 4 h daily in 2 weeks. While in control group, patients breathed air via non-rebreathing reservoir mask at the same rate.Results:A total of 62 SCI patients with neuropathic pain were included in the study. The mean age of the patients was 36.85±10.71 years. Out of 62 patients, 21 were tetraplegic and 41 were paraplegic. Overall, 14 patients had complete SCI while 48 patients had incomplete injuries. Three groups were similar with respect to age, gender, duration, smoker or not, level and severity of injury. In the 4 h per day InHO groups, a statistically significant reduction of the VAS values was observed (P<0.05). Significant difference was also found in SF-36ww pain scores and PGIC (P<0.05). However, such an effect was not evident in the control group.Conclusion:This study revealed that in treatment of neuropathic pain of SCI patients, InHO may be effective.Perspective:This article presents InHO may effectively complement pharmacological treatment in patients with SCI and neuropathic pain. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]