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Topical glucocorticoid has no antinociceptive or anti-inflammatory effect in thermal injury.

Author(s): Pedersen JL, Moiniche S, Kehlet H

Affiliation(s): Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Publication date & source: 1994-04, Br J Anaesth., 72(4):379-82.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

We have studied the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of topical glucocorticoids in human thermal injury. The right and left legs of 12 healthy volunteers were allocated randomly to be treated with either 0.05% clobetasol propionate cream or placebo in a double-blind trial. Thermal injuries were induced with a thermode, which was heated to 49 degrees C for 5 min under standardized pressure. Clobetasol propionate or placebo cream was applied to the skin 1 h before burn injury, immediately after the injury and every 12 h for the next 3 days. Heat pain detection thresholds (HPDT), heat pain tolerance (HPT), mechanical pain detection thresholds (MPDT) and the intensity of burn-induced erythema (erythema index, EI) were assessed inside the thermal injury and areas of hyperalgesia to pinprick outside the injury were determined before and regularly for 72 h after the burn injury. Burn injury caused a decrease in HPDT, HPT and MPDT, an increase in EI and development of mechanical, secondary hyperalgesia. Clobetasol propionate had no effect on any of the nociceptive or inflammatory variables studied.

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