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A comparison of DigiGait™ and TreadScan™ imaging systems: assessment of pain using gait analysis in murine monoarthritis

Authors Dorman CW, Krug HE, Frizelle SP, Funkenbusch S, Mahowald ML

Received 30 July 2013

Accepted for publication 16 September 2013

Published 24 December 2013 Volume 2014:7 Pages 25—35

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S52195

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Christopher W Dorman,1 Hollis E Krug,1–3 Sandra P Frizelle,1 Sonia Funkenbusch,1 Maren L Mahowald1–3

1Department of Research, 2Department of Medicine, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN, USA; 3Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Purpose: Carrageenan-induced arthritis is a painful acute arthritis model that is simple to induce, with peak pain and inflammation occurring at about 3 hours. This arthritis model can be evaluated using semiquantitative evoked or non-evoked pain scoring systems. These measures are subjective and are often time- and labor-intensive. It would be beneficial to utilize quantitative, nonsubjective evaluations of pain with rapid assessment tools. We sought to compare the DigiGait™ and TreadScan™ systems and to validate the two gait analysis platforms for detection of carrageenan-induced monoarthritis pain and analgesic response through changes in gait behavior.
Methods: Non-arthritic mice and carrageenan-induced arthritic mice with and without analgesia were examined. A painful arthritic knee was produced by injection of 3% carrageenan into the knee joint of adult mice. Analgesic-treated mice were injected subcutaneously with 0.015 mg/mL (0.5 mg/kg) buprenorphine. Five-second videos were captured on the DigiGait™ or TreadScan™ system and, after calculating gait parameters, were compared using student's unpaired t-test.
Results: We found the DigiGait™ system consistently measured significantly longer stride measures (swing time, stance time, and stride time) than did TreadScan™. Both systems' measures of variability were equal. Reproducibility was inconsistent on both systems. While both systems detected alterations in some gait measures after carrageenan injection, none of the alterations were seen with both systems. Only the TreadScan™ detected normalization of gait measures after analgesia, but the system could not detect normalization across all measures that altered due to arthritis pain. Time spent on analysis was dependent on operator experience.
Conclusion: Neither the DigiGait™ nor TreadScan™ system was useful for measuring changes in pain behaviors or analgesic responses in acute inflammatory monoarthritic mice.

Keywords: arthritis, mouse, video

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