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April 1944


Author Affiliations

With the Technical Assistance of Robert Desautels; Charles Royer, A.B.; Bertram Roth, B.S., AND William Drucker, B.S. BOSTON

From the Medical Service of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, Harvard University.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1944;73(4):322-328. doi:10.1001/archinte.1944.00210160054005

A comparative study has been made of the analgesic effects on human beings of morphine sulfate and one of its derivatives, monoacetylmorphine.1 Twenty-four normal males, ranging in age from 17 to 25 years, were used as test subjects in the experiments. Pain was produced by means of heat stimulation of the skin of the forehead by means of a modified Hardy-Wolff2 cutaneous heat radiation apparatus. Two components of the pain experience were studied: first, the threshold of perception of pain, and, second, the threshold of reaction to pain. The accuracy of the method had been established previously by control observations on the variations in sensitivity to pain in 200 normal subjects.3 The measure of the threshold of pain perception was taken to be the lowest strength of stimulus necessary to cause a sharp prick or piercing jab following a sensation of diffuse, burning heat. The threshold of

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