Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 192–199

Somatotopic organization along the central sulcus, for pain localization in humans, as revealed by positron emission tomography

Authors

  • Jesper L. R. Andersson
    • Uppsala University PET Centre, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Anders Lilja
    • Uppsala University PET Centre, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  • P. Hartvig
    • Uppsala University PET Centre, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Bengt Långström
    • Uppsala University PET Centre, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Torsten Gordh
    • Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Hermann Handwerker
    • Department of Physiology I, University of Erlangen/Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
  • E. Torebjörk
    • Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Hospital, S-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden Fax: +46-18-55 61 06
RESEARCH ARTICLE

DOI: 10.1007/s002210050215

Cite this article as:
Andersson, J., Lilja, A., Hartvig, P. et al. Exp Brain Res (1997) 117: 192. doi:10.1007/s002210050215

Abstract 

Regional cerebral blood flow was measured with positron emission tomography (PET) in six healthy volunteers at rest and during experimentally induced, sustained cutaneous pain on the dorsum of the right hand or on the dorsum of the right foot. Pain was inflicted by intracutaneous injection of capsaicin, providing a mainly C-fibre nociceptive stimulus. Statistical analysis showed significant activations along the central sulcus (SI) area when comparing pain in the hand to pain in the foot. Separate comparison of both pain states to a baseline revealed different locations along the central sulcus for hand pain and foot pain. The encountered differences are consistent with what is previously known about the somatotopics of non-painful stimuli. When comparing painful stimuli to baseline, the contralateral anterior cingulate gyrus, the ipsilateral anterior insular cortex and the ipsilateral prefrontal cortex were implicated. The results are consistent with an involvement of SI in the spatial discrimination of acute cutaneous pain.

Key words PainCapsaicinCerebral blood flowPositron emission tomographySomatotopic organizationHuman

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997