The cortical responses to evoked clinical pain in patients with hip osteoarthritis

Mikkel Gram, Joachim Erlenwein, Frank Petzke, Deborah Falla, Michael Przemeck, Miriam I Emons, Michael Reuster, Søren S Olesen, Asbjørn M Drewes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Experimental models have been used extensively to evaluate pain using e.g., visual analogue scales or electroencephalography (EEG). Stimulation using tonic pain has been shown to better mimic the unpleasantness of chronic pain, but has mainly been evoked by non-clinical stimuli. This study aims to, evaluate the EEG during clinical pain in patients scheduled for total hip replacement with control and resting conditions.

METHODS: The hip scheduled for replacement was moved by the examiner to evoke pain for 30 seconds while recording EEG. The control condition entailed movement of the opposite hip in a similar fashion and holding it for 30 seconds. In addition, EEG was recorded during the resting condition with open eyes. The relative spectral content was calculated from the EEG as well as functional connectivity using phase-lag index for frequency bands delta (1-4Hz), theta (4-8Hz), alpha (8-12Hz) and beta (12-32Hz). A mixed model was used for statistical comparison between the three recording conditions.

RESULTS: Spectral content differed between conditions in all bands. Functional connectivity differed in delta and theta frequency bands. Post-hoc analysis revealed differences between the painful and control condition in delta, theta and beta for spectral content. Pain during the hip rotation was correlated to the theta (r = -0.24 P = 0.03) and beta (r = 0.25 P = 0.02) content in the EEG.

CONCLUSION: EEG differences during hip movements in the affected and unaffected hip appeared in the spectral beta and theta content. This was correlated to the reported pain perceived, pointing towards pain specific brain activity related to clinical pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0186400
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral Cortex/physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip/physiopathology
  • Pain/physiopathology


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