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Clinical features 

Clinical features
Chapter:
Clinical features
Author(s):

Andrew Davies

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198840480.003.0002
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date: 18 October 2019

Breakthrough pain is a heterogeneous condition that can have several causes and several pathophysiologies. Breakthrough pain can present with numerous clinical features and numerous complications. Breakthrough pain is a cause of significant morbidity. The clinical features of the breakthrough pain are often related to the clinical features of the background pain. The diagnosis of breakthrough pain depends on the presence of well-controlled background pain, and so the initial presentation of the breakthrough pain often coincides with the successful management of the background pain. It appears that there is also a circadian variation in the occurrence of breakthrough pain in patients with cancer, with a much greater incidence reported during the day. Breakthrough pain can result in a number of physical, psychological, and social sequelae.

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