Quantitative Sensory Testing Protocols to Evaluate Central and Peripheral Sensitization in Knee OA: A Scoping Review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Abstract Objective This scoping review analyzed various quantitative sensory testing methodologies used in the assessment of sensitization and how sensitization is defined in people with knee osteoarthritis. Design A scoping review. Setting All clinical and research settings. Subjects Non-surgical adults with knee osteoarthritis. Methods This scoping review was guided by existing scoping review methodologies. Relevant studies were extracted from the following electronic databases: Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, Excerpta Medica Database, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing Allied Health Literature. Abstract and full article screening and data extraction were performed in pairs. Information on quantitative sensory testing techniques and parameters was extracted and summarized in tables. General and technique specific definitions of sensitization were extracted from included texts. Results Our search yielded 4,199 articles, of which 50 were included in our review. The most common quantitative sensory test was pressure pain threshold. In total 28 unique testing sites were found speaking to the high degree of variability between studies. Sensitization was poorly defined with only 8 studies fully operationalizing it, 22 partially, and the remainder did not provide sufficient information to meet our criteria. Conclusions This scoping review has provided an overview of the most common methods of quantitative sensory testing being implemented in the assessment of nervous system sensitization to nociceptive signaling in people with knee osteoarthritis. This study provides a foundation for future development of quantitative sensory testing methodology for research and clinical practice in the osteoarthritis population.


  • Rankin, Jonathan
  • Rudy-Froese, Benjamin
  • Hoyt, Curtis
  • Ramsahoi, Keenu
  • Gareau, Liam
  • Howatt, William
  • Carlesso, Lisa

publication date

  • March 2, 2022