Thermal stimuli

Thermal testing is often carried out using probes or thermodes and several instruments are commercially available. Lasers, with argon or CO2 stimuli, have also been used. The size and duration of the thermal stimulus seem to be important because temporal and spatial summation is pronounced for C-fibers, but is only weak for A8-fibers. While short-lasting heat stimuli on small areas normally evoke a pinprick sensation (indicating A8-fiber activation), heat stimuli of long duration on larger areas give rise to a burning sensation (indicating C-fiber activation). To what extent this observation is also present in neuropathic skin is unclear.

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