At present, the specific neurophysiologic methodology of recording pain-related evoked potentials is considered a most promising approach to objectively quantify pain in man. This study was designed to characterise and evaluate the use of somatosensory evoked potentials to study nociception in a canine model. To this aim, somatosensory evoked potentials were evoked by intra-epidermal electrical stimulation and recorded from the scalp in 8 beagle dogs. Characteristics determined were: (1) the conduction velocities of the peripheral nerve fibres involved, (2) the stimulus intensity response characteristics and (3) the evaluation of possible disturbance of the signals by muscular activity from the hind paw withdrawal reflex (EMG artefact). The results showed (1) the conduction velocities to be in the A-delta fibre range (i.e. fibres involved in nociception), (2) an increase in amplitude and a decrease in latency of the evoked potential following increasing stimulus intensities and (3) the absence of EMG artefact in the signals. These data indicate that the evoked potentials recorded, are related to nociception and thus are suited to quantitatively characterise the perception of noxious stimuli making this model useful for pain- and analgesia-related research.
- Behavior, Animal
- Data Interpretation, Statistical
- Electric Stimulation
- Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory
- Nerve Fibers
- Neural Conduction
- Pain Measurement