Document Detail

The Flexion Withdrawal Reflex Reveals an Increasing Threshold during the First Year of Life and is Influenced by the Infant's State of Consciousness.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22511314     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The idea that preterm and term infants are capable of experiencing pain is now widely accepted. However, there is still insufficient knowledge how pain perception develops throughout infancy. A promising approach to quantify the level of spinal excitability in infants is to measure cutaneous sensitivity by the flexion withdrawal reflex (WR). In our study we wanted to test how the threshold of the WR develops in healthy infants during the first year of life. Furthermore, we aimed to analyse the impact of the state of consciousness on the reflex threshold.In 44 healthy infants we tested the threshold of the WR with calibrated von-Frey-Filaments at the age of 3 days as well as with 4, 12, 26 and 52 weeks. To analyse the influence of the state of consciousness on the reflex threshold, we documented at 12, 26 and 52 weeks whether the infants were quietly awake or lightly asleep during testing.The median threshold of the WR increased during the first year of life from 1.2 g up to 4.6 g at the age of 1 year. At 12, 26 and 52 weeks we found significantly lower thresholds in sleeping infants compared to infants being awake (p=0.004, p<0.001 and p=0.086, respectively).The threshold of the flexion withdrawal reflex increases during infancy, probably reflecting neuronal maturation processes in the first year of life. Besides postnatal age, the threshold of the WR also depends on the state of consciousness. Therefore, future studies about the WR should consider postnatal age as well as the state of consciousness.
B Kühne; H Stützer; B Roth; L Welzing
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-4-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Klinische Padiatrie     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1439-3824     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-4-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0326144     Medline TA:  Klin Padiatr     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
Childrens' Hospital, Department of Neonatology and Paediatric Intensive Care, University of Cologne, Germany.
Vernacular Title:
Der Wegziehreflex zeigt einen Anstieg der Reizschwelle innerhalb des ersten Lebensjahres und wird vom Bewusstseinszustand des Kindes beeinflusst.
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