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Type: Journal article
Title: Use of the Rat Grimace Scale to evaluate visceral pain in a model of chemotherapy- induced mucositis
Author: George, R.
Howarth, G.
Whittaker, A.
Citation: Animals, 2019; 9(9):678-678
Publisher: MDPI AG
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 2076-2615
Statement of
Rebecca P. George, Gordon S. Howarth and Alexandra L. Whittaker
Abstract: Mucositis is a painful and often debilitating condition associated with cancer treatment. Management of associated symptoms is an important clinical consideration. Animal models are used in mucositis research to model the condition in humans in order to develop novel therapeutic agents to relieve symptoms. Previous animal studies have focused on disease severity and outcomes, but often failed to measure pain. The rat grimace scale (RGS) is a validated observational measure used to gauge pain levels experienced by rats. The aim of this study was to assess the rat grimace scale in a rat model of mucositis, and to examine whether changes in clinical signs and anxiety reflected the grimace responses recorded. We also aimed to determine whether the responses were pain-specific by administering potent opioid painkilling agents. In the present study rat grimace scores did not change significantly between treatments. Development of reliable pain assessment methods in animal models is urgently required to improve model relevance to human clinical practice, in addition to safeguarding animal welfare.
Keywords: Rat grimace scale; chemotherapy-induced mucositis; disease activity index; open field test; opioids
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
DOI: 10.3390/ani9090678
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Appears in Collections:Animal and Veterinary Sciences publications
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