Serum β-endorphin levels in chronic pelvic pain patients

Mahmoud Ahmed, T. G. Stovall, F. W. Ling, C. R. Kirsch, D. Maulik, C. F. Carey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

β-Endorphin is a 31 amino acid opioid peptide with several physiologic roles of which analgesia is one. Numerous reports relate stress in humans to an increase in β-endorphin levels, suggesting a role for the peptide as a pain modulator. In chronic pain patients, elevated as well as reduced β-endorphin levels have been reported. The pharmacopathology, if any, of chronic pelvic pain remains unclear. This study is to investigate the levels of serum β-endorphin in chronic pelvic pain patients in relation to their perception of pain intensity. Twenty-three patients undergoing diagnostic laparoscopy for chronic pelvic pain were studied. Ten control patients were chosen from patients scheduled for elective laparoscopy sterilization who had no previous history of pelvic pain. Patients were asked to indicate their perception of pain intensity, using a visual analog scale, numbered one to ten. Laparoscopy was performed on all patients, with documentation of location, density of adhesions, and/or the presence of other pelvic pathology. All blood samples were drawn on the morning of surgery prior to laparoscopy. Results indicated a significantly (p<0.01) higher serum β-endorphin level in chronic pelvic pain patients compared to controls. The mean was 14.8pg/ml±13.2SD for pain patients and 4.3pg/ml±3.0SD for controls. There were significantly more pelvic adhesions (p<0.01) and pathologic abnormalities (p<0.001) upon laparoscopic examination in the study group than controls. Of particular interest is an inverse correlation between subjective pain levels and serum β-endorphin levels, i.e. the higher β-endorphin level, the lower the perception of pain. Our data suggest a role for β-endorphin in the modulation of chronic pelvic pain, i.e. of an opiate response to chronic pelvic pain. An elevation of β-endorphin level appears to decrease the patient's perception of chronic pain. This response, providing the body with its own natural analgesic, would be in agreement with the well-documented role of this peptide in relieving acute pain in patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume12
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Endorphins
Pelvic Pain
Chronic Pain
Serum
Laparoscopy
Pain Perception
Pain
Opiate Alkaloids
Peptides
Opioid Peptides
Acute Pain
Visual Analog Scale
Documentation
Analgesia
Analgesics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Ahmed, M., Stovall, T. G., Ling, F. W., Kirsch, C. R., Maulik, D., & Carey, C. F. (1991). Serum β-endorphin levels in chronic pelvic pain patients. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 12(SUPPL.), 39-52.

Serum β-endorphin levels in chronic pelvic pain patients. / Ahmed, Mahmoud; Stovall, T. G.; Ling, F. W.; Kirsch, C. R.; Maulik, D.; Carey, C. F.

In: Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Vol. 12, No. SUPPL., 1991, p. 39-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ahmed, M, Stovall, TG, Ling, FW, Kirsch, CR, Maulik, D & Carey, CF 1991, 'Serum β-endorphin levels in chronic pelvic pain patients', Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol. 12, no. SUPPL., pp. 39-52.
Ahmed M, Stovall TG, Ling FW, Kirsch CR, Maulik D, Carey CF. Serum β-endorphin levels in chronic pelvic pain patients. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 1991;12(SUPPL.):39-52.
Ahmed, Mahmoud ; Stovall, T. G. ; Ling, F. W. ; Kirsch, C. R. ; Maulik, D. ; Carey, C. F. / Serum β-endorphin levels in chronic pelvic pain patients. In: Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 1991 ; Vol. 12, No. SUPPL. pp. 39-52.
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