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Assessment and Diagnosis of Neuropathic Pain 

Assessment and Diagnosis of Neuropathic Pain
Chapter:
Assessment and Diagnosis of Neuropathic Pain
Source:
Neuropathic Pain: A Case-Based Approach to Practical Management
Author(s):

Erik C. Hustak

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190298357.003.0004

The assessment and diagnosis of neuropathic pain are essential in understanding the complex mechanisms responsible for this syndrome. Furthermore, there is a tremendous need for more effective, targeted strategies for delivering pain medicine. Unfortunately, the diagnosis and treatment of neuropathic pain can be challenging. A standardized approach leading to an accurate diagnosis must be consistently communicated among clinicians and researchers, and the diagnostician needs to differentiate neuropathic pain from other pain phenotypes. Several validated tools and questionnaires have been designed specifically for this purpose and are discussed in depth in this chapter. The clinician must utilize the history and physical exam and consider ordering pertinent confirmatory tests to support the neuropathic pain diagnosis. A critical understanding of this work is needed in order to promote progress in our ability to define potential treatment targets to alleviate suffering in our patients.

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