Data on chronic pain after lung transplantation are heterogeneous. This study prospectively explored the prevalence, characteristics, consequences, and preoperative predictors of pain in lung transplant recipients.
A prospective cohort study.
The Foch University Hospital, Suresnes, France.
Patients registered on the waiting list for double-lung transplantation in the authors’ institution from August 2008 to October 2013 and transplanted.
Database prospectively completed in real time during consultations with a pain-certified anesthesiologist before lung transplantation and six months after surgery.
The assessments explored pain in three components: physical (intensity, location, neuropathic and sensory qualifications, treatments), mental (anxiety and depression), and quality of life. Seventy-two patients underwent all assessments. The prevalence of six-month postoperative pain was 68.0%. Among patients with pain, 83.3% reported mild average pain and 26.5% had neuropathic pain. All patients who responded to the questionnaire took analgesics frequently, but only 9.1% took opioids. Patients with pain reported higher levels of anxiety (p = 0.02) and depression (p = 0.01). Additionally, they presented with increased difficulty in ambulation (p = 0.03), work (p = 0.02), and sleep (p = 0.02). The maximum level of preoperative pain was an independent risk factor of six-month postoperative pain (p = 0.03).
The authors report a high prevalence of chronic pain with concomitant psychosocial repercussions despite a reported mild intensity. Perioperative measures, such as personalized and detailed management plans, could improve patient satisfaction.

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