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In patients who reported mild postoperative pain, we evoked a nocebo response, a phenomenon equal but opposite to placebo. Patients who gave informed consent to increase their pain for 30 min received a substance known to be non-hyperalgesic (saline solution) and were told that it produced a pain increase. A nocebo effect was observed when saline was(More)
Individual differences in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, the type of pain and the method of drug administration can account for the response variability to analgesics. By integrating a clinical and an experimental approach, we report here that another important source of variability is represented by individual differences in non-specific (placebo)(More)
Several lines of evidence indicate that placebos produce analgesia through the activation of endogenous opioid systems. Recently, we showed that placebos may also produce respiratory depressant responses, a typical side-effect of narcotics, when a subject had a prior experience of respiratory depression in the course of narcotic treatment. In the present(More)
Although in most of the cases the placebo response appears to be unpredictable, several factors have been considered in order to explain the placebo analgesic effect. For example, it is widely recognized, albeit with little empirical evidence, that placebo analgesia is more likely to occur after a successful analgesic therapy. On the basis of this(More)
Response expectancies have been proposed as the major determinant of placebo effects. Here we report that different expectations produce different analgesic effects which in turn can be harnessed in clinical practice. Thoracotomized patients were treated with buprenorphine on request for 3 consecutive days, together with a basal intravenous infusion of(More)
The treatment of neuropathic pain with opioid analgesics is a matter of controversy among clinicians and clinician scientists. Although neuropathic pain is usually believed to be only slightly responsive to opioids, several studies show that satisfactory analgesia can be obtained if adequate doses are administered. In the present study, we tested the(More)
The role of thymectomy in the treatment of myasthenia gravis (MG) was analysed in 400 patients affected with generalised MG operated on between 1974-83, and prospectively followed up for five years after surgery. The occurrence of stable remission (SR) (that is, complete clinical drug-free remission that remains stable for all the subsequent follow up) was(More)
Thymocytes express multiple, different surface antigens according to their stage of maturation. Surface differentiation antigens have been studied with the technique of simultaneous dual-color, direct immunofluorescence in the thymuses of 20 patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) and 10 control subjects with cardiac diseases. Fluorescein(More)
BACKGROUND Transfusion of allogeneic blood influences outcome after surgery. Despite widespread availability of transfusion guidelines, transfusion practices might vary among physicians, departments, hospitals and countries. Our aim was to determine the amount of packed red blood cells (pRBC) and blood products transfused intraoperatively, and to describe(More)