Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures

Program Snapshot

The goal of the Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures (A2CPS) program is to develop a set of objective biomarkers that provide “signatures” to predict if chronic pain is likely to develop or be resolved after acute pain, like an injury or after a surgery. These signatures are greatly needed because prevention of chronic pain is a major challenge in pain management. For most people, acute pain resolves as the injury that caused it heals. Yet in many other people, pain from an injury, surgery, or disease persists lasts for years or even throughout life becoming a chronic condition. This high prevalence of chronic pain has in part contributed to the current opioid epidemic in the US. A signature that could be identified before the transition from acute to chronic pain could help accelerate therapy development and ultimately guide pain prevention strategies.

To uncover signatures predictive of the transition to or resilience from chronic pain, the A2CPS clinical study will collect imaging, physical, sensory, and other data from two groups of people for six months; one group will have recently had Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) surgery and the other will have had a thoracic surgery. The hope is for differences in biomarkers observed between people who transition to chronic pain and those who do not will reveal biomarkers associated with the transition to chronic pain. The biomarkers could then be combined into signatures predictive of the transition. Clinical sites are now enrolling participants in this important research study.

This page last reviewed on October 21, 2022