Document Type


Publication Date



This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in British Journal of Haematology, Volume 185, Issue 5, June 2019, Pages 925-934.

The published version is available at Copyright © Miller et al.


Quantitative sensory testing (QST) is used in a variety of pain disorders to characterize pain and predict prognosis and response to specific therapies. In this study, we aimed to confirm results in the literature documenting altered QST thresholds in sickle cell disease (SCD) and assess the test-retest reliability of results over time. Fifty-seven SCD and 60 control subjects aged 8-20 years underwent heat and cold detection and pain threshold testing using a Medoc TSAII. Participants were tested at baseline and 3 months; SCD subjects were additionally tested at 6 months. An important facet of our study was the development and use of a novel QST modelling approach, allowing us to model all data together across modalities. We have not demonstrated significant differences in thermal thresholds between subjects with SCD and controls. Thermal thresholds were consistent over a 3- to 6-month period. Subjects on whom hydroxycarbamide (HC) was initiated shortly before or after baseline testing (new HC users) exhibited progressive decreases in thermal sensitivity from baseline to 6 months, suggesting that thermal testing may be sensitive to effective therapy to prevent vasoocclusive pain. These findings inform the use of QST as an endpoint in the evaluation of preventative pain therapies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

PubMed ID






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.