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Screening Blood Panel to Evaluate New Chronic Pain Patients

Fundamentally, the screening panel recommended here is intended to distinguish a severe, chronic pain patient from a mild or moderate chronic pain patient.
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Tracking Results

The screening tests recommended here are excellent markers of treatment effectiveness. With adequate pain control, cortisol and ESR’s normalize. Low levels rise and high levels come down. Laboratory tracking gives the physician and all concerned parties some objective measurements of treatment necessity and effectiveness.

Identification of the Drug Seeker

Although the primary intent of this recommended blood panel is to separate the severe from the mild or moderate pain patient, this panel may also help identify a drug seeker. For example, a patient who claims pain and desires a potent opioid such as oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, or methadone should be a severe pain case who demonstrates one or more biologic, blood indicators of severe pain.

This panel, together with elevated pulse rate and blood pressure, helps to provide objective evidence of severe pain. For example, an untreated patient who has normal blood pressure, pulse rate, adrenal hormone blood levels, and negative inflammation markers can hardly be classified as a severe or very severe pain patient.

Summary

Recommended here is a five-test blood panel to evaluate new, chronic pain patients. They are based on the known affects of severe pain on the pituitary-adrenal-gonadal axis and on the inflammatory response. Abnormal blood panel tests help distinguish between severe and mild or moderate pain patients. Both the adrenal and inflammatory markers normalize with adequate pain treatment and so are objective indicators of treatment effectiveness.

Last updated on: December 27, 2011
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