Arterial hypertension is associated with hypalgesia in humans.
An association between increased blood pressure and hypalgesia has been reported in several studies in animals and in a few reports in humans. We investigated the relationship between hypertension and pain perception by comparing the response to graded electrical stimulation of the tooth pulp, which is thought to represent an exclusively nociceptive system. The test was performed with a commercial tooth pulp tester in a large series of subjects with borderline or established hypertension and in three groups of normotensive controls: volunteers, nonhypertensive patients, and medical students with a well-established or no family history of hypertension. Subjects had to report when they started to feel pulp stimulation (sensory threshold) and when this became painful (pain threshold). Sensory and pain thresholds were obtained as means of the measurements on four healthy, unfilled teeth. Sensory thresholds were significantly higher in subjects with borderline or established hypertension than in two of the three normotensive groups (volunteers and normotensive patients), whereas no significant difference was observed between the two hypertensive groups. The results for the pain threshold were qualitatively similar but less clear and less amenable to statistical analysis because this parameter could not be determined with accuracy in a number of subjects in whom the subjective pain threshold was above the upper range of stimulation of the instrument. The association between blood pressure levels and pain perception was further confirmed by the highly significant correlation found for the overall data between mean arterial blood pressure and both thresholds.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association