New and low-cost auto-algometry for screening hypertension-associated hypoalgesia

Andrea Viggiano, Nicola Zagaria, Maria Beatrice Passavanti, Maria Caterina Pace, Antonella Paladini, Caterina Aurilio, Michele Adolfo Tedesco, Francesco Natale, Raffaele Calabrò, Marcellino Monda, Elena De Luca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of the present work was to measure the pain threshold in hypertensive patients with a new auto-algometry method. Design and Setting: Auto-algometry consists of asking the subjects to push their fingers against a fixed round-tip needle until they feel a pain sensation. An electronic force transducer permits the measurement of the force applied by the subjects and storage of the data on a personal computer. Eight tests are performed twice on each subject on the tip and back of four fingers. For each test, the maximal applied force (grams) is defined as pain threshold. The overall discomfort during the entire procedure is reported by the subjects on a 0 (no discomfort) to 10 (intolerable pain) scale. Patients and Interventions:A group of hypertensive patients (n = 22) and a group of normotensive subjects (n = 22) underwent the auto-algometry examination. Results: The pain threshold was higher in hypertensive patients compared with normotensive subjects. All discomfort scores referred by the subjects fell within the 4-6 range. Conclusion: The data obtained from this study indicate that the auto-algometer as described here can detect hypoalgesia associated with hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalPain Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Algometry
  • Auto-algometry
  • Hypertension
  • Hypoalgesia
  • Pain threshold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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