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Visceral pain 

Visceral pain
Visceral pain

Victor T. Chang

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date: 24 January 2022

Visceral pain is pain that arises from, in, or around internal organs. Common examples include chest pain and functional abdominal pain. In palliative medicine, well-known visceral pain syndromes include pain from pancreatic cancer and bowel obstruction. Recent advances have increased our understanding of the diagnostic challenges and therapeutic possibilities for patients with visceral pain syndromes. Understanding the basis of referred pain is a key component of patient assessment. The complexity of visceral nociception and pain signalling is being unravelled through anatomical, immunohistochemical, and functional studies. On a molecular level, families of receptors and signalling proteins have now been described that will lead to a future with innovative therapies. This knowledge has developed within the paradigms of pain pathways, peripheral activation and peripheral and central sensitization, thereby linking and distinguishing visceral pain from somatic and neuropathic pain. Treatment options for visceral pain in palliative care encompass a wide variety of medical, interventional, and psychological approaches. With appropriate diagnostic measures and careful consideration of therapeutic options, most patients can achieve satisfactory relief.

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