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The DQB1*03:02 HLA haplotype is associated with increased risk of chronic pain after inguinal hernia surgery and lumbar disc herniation

Neuropathic pain conditions are common after nerve injuries and are suggested to be regulated in part by genetic factors. We have previously demonstrated a strong genetic influence of the rat major histocompatibility complex on development of neuropathic pain behavior after peripheral nerve injury. In order to study if the corresponding human leukocyte antigen complex (HLA) also influences susceptibility to pain, we performed an association study in patients that had undergone surgery for inguinal hernia (n = 189). One group had developed a chronic pain state following the surgical procedure, while the control group had undergone the same type of operation, without any persistent pain. HLA DRB1genotyping revealed a significantly increased proportion of patients in the pain group carrying DRB1⁄ 04 compared to patients in the pain-free group. Additional typing of the DQB1 gene further strengthened the association; carriers of the DQB1⁄ 03:02 allele together with DRB1⁄ 04 displayed an increased risk of postsurgery pain with an odds risk of 3.16 (1.61-6.22) compared to noncarriers. This finding was subsequently replicated in the clinical material of patients with lumbar disc herniation (n = 258), where carriers of the DQB1⁄ 03:02 allele displayed a slower recovery and increased pain. In conclusion, we here...

Dominguez, Cecilia A.; Kalliomäki, Maija; Gunnarsson, Ulf; Moen, Aurora; Sandblom, Gabriel; Kockum, Ingrid; Lavant, Ewa; Olsson, Tomas; Nyberg, Fred; Rygh, Lars Jørgen; Røe, Cecilie; Gjerstad, Johannes; Gordh, Torsten; Piehl, Fredrik
Pain 154(3): 427–433
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