Background Pain is one of the most common symptoms in SSc patients, yet not considered in the assessment of disease severity. Former studies have shown that pain has a neuropathic component; however there is still lack of evidence about its distribution in the body regions and the direct effect of neuropathic pain on the quality of life (QoL).
Objectives We aimed to investigate the frequency of neuropathic pain syndrome (NPS) and to evaluate its interference with the quality of life in SSc patients.
Methods Diffuse and Limited SSc patients diagnosed by American College of Rheumatology 2013 criteria were included in the study. Pain was evaluated with Visual Analogue Scale (VAS); painful body regions and pain intensity with Brief Pain Inventory (BPI); presence of neuropathic pain with The Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (LANNS) questionnaire; disease activity with Medsger Disease Severity Scale and QoL with Short-form 36 (SF36). Multiple regression analysis was used to assess the associations of NPS with sociodemographic and clinical factors.
Results One hundred twenty patients were included in the study (mean age 53.64±11.44 years, female/male 83.3%>16.7%). Total pain frequency was found 69.2% and NPS was 35.9% in the whole patient group. Mean VAS in the group of patients with and without NPS were 5.44±2.03, 3.45±1.82; respectively (P<0.001). Pain was most frequently seen in wrist-hand (50.6%) and ankle-foot (43.4%) regions; albeit, NPS rates were highest in face (94.4%), lower leg (87.5%) and gluteal (78.6%) regions. SF 36 scores were lower in patients with NPS than the patients without NPS but the difference has not reached to a statistically significant level (P>0.05). The most associated factors with NPS were Medsger Disease Severity Score for muscle and drug consumption of the patient.
Conclusions According to our results, high frequency of NPS is seen in SSc patients, and NPS is associated with low QoL. The highest rates of NPS presence were seen in face, gluteal and lower leg regions of the body. Differential diagnosis of NPS is important to consider right treatment options and accurate management of pain in all rheumatologic diseases including SSc.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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