Research Papers:

Association of serum Ninjurin2 levels with neurologic damage and postherpetic neuralgia occurrence: an observational cohort study in chinese herpeszoster patients

Guozhuan Zhang, Yingjiao Sun, Lei Wang, Hui Tian and Lishuang Liang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:71520-71527. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17640

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Guozhuan Zhang1, Yingjiao Sun1, Lei Wang1, Hui Tian2 and Lishuang Liang1

1Department of Pain Management, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China

2Department of Thoracic Surgery, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China

Correspondence to:

Lishuang Liang, email: [email protected]

Hui Tian, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Ninjurin2, neurologic damage, herpes zoster, postherpetic neuralgia occurrence

Received: February 21, 2017     Accepted: March 23, 2017     Published: May 04, 2017


Objectives: Postherpetic neuralgia(PHN) is the most common complication of herpeszoster (HZ) infection. The study aimed to explore whether serum Ninjurin2 (for nerve injury-induced protein 2, NINJ2), a novel neurologic damage related protein, is associated with nerve injury and the occurrence of PHN.

Results: Seventy-four of the eighty patients completed the study. On the 7th day of AHN, the patients had significantly higher values of NINJ2, cold-sense dispersion (ΔCS), warm-sense dispersion (ΔWS), cold-pain dispersion (ΔCP), heat-pain dispersion (ΔHP) and NRS score compared to controls. Six months after herpes, thirty four patients developed PHN. The values of serum NINJ2, ΔCS, ΔWS, ΔCP and ΔHP in PHN patients remained higher than in the controls and the patients who did not develop PHN. The PHN patients had significantly lower values of serumNINJ2 than patients who did not develop PHN in the period of AHN. With partial correlations and multivariable logistic regressions, serum NINJ2 level was strongly predictive of PHN.

Materials and Methods: Eighty individuals with acute herpetic neuralgia (AHN) and 60 controls were recruited. The following nerve injury testing was performed on all of the patients including: the numerical rating scale (NRS) test, quantitative sensory testing (QST), and the investigation of serum NINJ2 levels on the 7th day of AHN; in addition, all of the patients repeated all of the items at 6 months after herpes.

Conclusions: The serum NINJ2 levels are associated with nerve injury, particularly with nerve recovery, and may be predictors of PHN occurrence.

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