Do omega-6 and trans fatty acids play a role in complex regional pain syndrome? A pilot study.
Pain Med. 2010 Jul ;11(7):1115-25. Epub 2010 Jun 8. PMID: 20545870
OBJECTIVES: The study aims to compare the omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA), and trans fatty acid (trans FA) status of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) patients to pain-free controls.
DESIGN: Case control study. Setting. The setting was at a multidisciplinary rehabilitation center.
PATIENTS: Twenty patients that met the Budapest research diagnostic criteria for CRPS and 15 pain-free control subjects were included in this study. Outcome Measures. Fasting plasma fatty acids were collected from all participants. In CRPS patients, pain was assessed using the McGill Pain Questionnaire-Short Form. In addition, results from the perceived disability (Pain Disability Index), pain-related anxiety (Pain Anxiety Symptom Scale Short Form), depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Short Form), and quality of life (Short Form-36 [SF-36]) were evaluated.
RESULTS: Compared with controls, CRPS patients demonstrated elevated concentrations of n-6 HUFA and trans FA. No differences in n-3 HUFA concentrations were observed. Plasma concentrations of the n-6 HUFA docosatetraenoic acid were inversely correlated with the"vitality"section of the SF-36. Trans FA concentrations positively correlated with pain-related disability and anxiety.
CONCLUSION: These pilot data suggest that elevated n-6 HUFA and trans FA may play a role in CRPS pathogenesis. These findings should be replicated, and more research is needed to explore the clinical significance of low n-6 and trans FA diets with or without concurrent n-3 HUFA supplementation, for the management of CRPS.