By Dr M Peterson
Despite the significant effect chronic soft tissue pain such as tennis elbow can have on the sufferer, the basic pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying such pain are only very poorly understood. In addition, there are currently no satisfactory methods for the precise localization of pain in peripheral tissues.
This article describes the basic biochemistry of the Substance P – Neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor system and summarizes the findings of a recent study using a PET radioligand specific for the NK1 receptor to identify chronic pain.
The results show the potential of the approach, which should be confirmed by larger confirmatory studies.