Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain is traditionally attributed to peripheral inflammation of the joints. However, pain control is often inadequate, even when inflammation appears to be well controlled. This suggests that neuropathic pain (NP) may also be present in patients with RA.
Objectives The objective of this study was to examine NP symptoms and associated factors in patients with RA.
Methods Patients with RA according to ACR 1987 or ACR/EULAR 2010 classification criteria were included in this cross-sectional study. Demographic data and RA characteristics were collected. Pain was measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Disease activity was assessed by the Disease Activity Score (DAS 28). Functional disability was evaluated by the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). Joint destruction was assessed by the Van der Heijde-modified Sharp Score. NP symptoms were assessed using the DN4 questionnaire. Data analysis was carried out using the SPSS 20 Software. p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results Eighty-four patients with a mean±SD age of 50.6 ±12.29 years were enrolled. Eighty-nine per cent were female. Mean±SD duration of symptoms was 11.24±8.91 years. Thirty one per cent had NP and 96.2% of them were taking steroids. In the NP group, means±SD of VAS pain, DAS28, HAQ, sharp score were 3.85±2.73, 3.21±2.21, 1.00±0.95 and 63.27±43.52 respectively. NP patients did not significantly differ from those with no NP symptoms in terms of age, disease duration, disease activity, VAS pain, functional disability and joint destruction. The regression analysis showed that there was no significant correlation between NP and the RA parameters.
Conclusions The prevalence of NP was 31% in our RA population. It is important to consider the existence of NP in the assessment and treatment of RA pain. However, larger studies are needed to investigate factors associated with NP in RA patients.
Disclosure of Interest None declared