Methods for the assessment of heat perception in humans

Michael F. Crutchlow, Joel D. Greenspan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Several transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels are activated by heat and may potentially -contribute to human heat perception though clinical data are currently either limited or absent. At least three of the identified heat-activated TRP channels are appealing drug targets for multiple potential therapeutic indications. Evaluation of heat perception in clinical development programs will improve drug characterization, highlight potential safety issues related to heat insensitivity, and clarify the role of these channels in human heat sensation. Multiple facets of heat perception may feasibly be assessed in the clinical research unit (CRU) setting using established methods and commercially available equipment including temperature-controlled contact thermodes and circulating water baths. Established methods are reviewed for the assessment of heat perception thresholds and multiple facets of heat perception. An exploratory approach to initial assessment of household burn risk is discussed as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTRP Channels in Drug Discovery
Subtitle of host publicationVolume II
Editors Arpad Szallasi, Tamas Biro
Number of pages18
StatePublished - Nov 19 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Pharmacology and Toxicology
ISSN (Print)1557-2153
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6053


  • Burn
  • Heat perception
  • Human
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Noxious heat
  • Thermosensation
  • Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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