In clinical research, today guidelines such as the CONSORT for reporting individual randomised controlled trials and the PRISMA statement on conducting systematic reviews have become elementary tools to improve reporting quality. In experimental animal research, we have been too slow to accept that similar sources of bias are present. However, it has been shown that also in the animal laboratory methodological shortcomings can have significant effects on the findings [1,2,3]. Some of these methodological problems can be eliminated by adopting simple research practices, such as the routine of properly randomising the subjects to the study groups, or blinding the observer to the treatment when any even relatively subjective endpoints are used. The reporting can also be made significantly more transparent by, e.g. clearly stating how many repetitions were actually performed, and if there were any dropouts. These are issues, which have been important for this Journal already from the very beginning .To further commit to this development, editorial board of Scandinavian Journal of Pain has decided to ask authors of experimental animals studies submitted to the journal to adhere to the ARRIVE guidelines (http://www.nc3rs.org.uk/page.asp?id=1357). We are the first pain journal to do this, among good company, such as the Nature and the PLoS journal families and Journal of Physiology. The major funding bodies of biomedical research especially in the United Kingdom are also endorsing the guideline. The special hybrid journal format of Scandinavian Journal of Pain makes it feasible to include all the necessary details of the experimental conditions without problems with space in the print journal or including additional web resources to an original article.It is important to realise that the ARRIVE guideline does not limit the scientific freedom of researchers, nor force to use any given practice. The only thing that is required is to clearly and honestly report what has been done. A checklist of twenty items helps authors, editors and readers to get an unobstructed view of what are the methodological strengths and weak points of research paper. In future, it will also be possible to compare experimental conditions of different studies in more detail, and possibly draw better overall conclusions on several experiments on the same target.In the topical review of professor Andrew Rice and his coworkers in this issue of Scandinavian Journal of Pain  an important step further is highlighted: we need to develop and choose experimental research models that are most valid for the human pain conditions studied. This is crucial scientifically (for more valid findings), financially (for better return on investment) and ethically (to get maximal amount of new knowledge from every animal used). This is a much more challenging goal and requires significantly more topical knowledge [6,7,8] than just getting our act together on the basic methodological issues described in ARRIVE. However, honing the models is not any reason to forget the simple, but important methodological matters.ReferencesMacleod MR, O’Collins T, Howells DW, Donnan GA. Pooling of animal experimental data reveals influence of study design and publication bias. Stroke 2004;35:1203–8.10.1161/01.STR.0000125719.25853.2015060322MacleodMRO’CollinsTHowellsDWDonnanGAPooling of animal experimental data reveals influence of study design and publication biasStroke20043512038Eisenach JC, Lindner MD. Did experimenter bias conceal the efficacy of spinal opioids in previous studies with the spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain? Anesthesiology 2004;100:765–7.10.1097/00000542-200404000-0000315087608EisenachJCLindnerMDDid experimenter bias conceal the efficacy of spinal opioids in previous studies with the spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain?Anesthesiology20041007657Rice AS, Cimino-Brown D, Eisenach JC, Kontinen VK, Lacroix-Fralish ML, Preclinical Pain Consortium, Machin I, Mogil JS, Stöhr T. Animal models and the prediction of efficacy in clinical trials of analgesic drugs: a critical appraisal and call for uniform reporting standards. Pain 2008;139:243–7.http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000260648900003&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=b7bc2757938ac7a7a821505f8243d9f31881496810.1016/j.pain.2008.08.017RiceASCimino-BrownDEisenachJCKontinenVKLacroix-FralishMLPreclinical Pain ConsortiumMachinIMogilJSStöhrTAnimal models and the prediction of efficacy in clinical trials of analgesic drugs: a critical appraisal and call for uniform reporting standardsPain20081392437Kontinen VK. Why would studies on furry rodents concern us as clinicians? Scand J Pain 2010;1:89–90.10.1016/j.sjpain.2010.01.003KontinenVKWhy would studies on furry rodents concern us as clinicians?Scand J Pain201018990Rice ASC, Morland R, Huang W, Currie GL, Sena ES, Macleod MR. Transparency in the reporting of in vivo pre-clinical pain research: the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines. Scand J Pain 2013;4:58–62.10.1016/j.sjpain.2013.02.002RiceASCMorlandRHuangWCurrieGLSenaESMacleodMRTransparency in the reporting of in vivo pre-clinical pain research: the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelinesScand J Pain201345862Kontinen VK. How good is amodel? Scand J Pain 2011;2:170–1.10.1016/j.sjpain.2011.08.001KontinenVKHow good is amodel?Scand J Pain201121701Honoré PH, Basnet A, Eljaja L, Kristensen P, Munkholm Andersen L, Neustrup S, M0llgaard P, Bjerrum O-J. Neuropathic pain models in the development of analgesic drugs. Scand J Pain 2011;2:172–7.10.1016/j.sjpain.2011.06.003HonoréPHBasnetAEljajaLKristensenPMunkholm AndersenLNeustrupSMøllgaardPBjerrumO-JNeuropathic pain models in the development of analgesic drugsScand J Pain201121727Honoré PH, Basnet A, Eljaja L, Kristensen P, Munkholm Andersen L, Neustrup S, Møllgaard P, Bjerrum O-J. Predictive validity of pharmacologic interventions in animal models of neuropathic pain. Scand J Pain 2011;2: 178–84.10.1016/j.sjpain.2011.06.002HonoréPHBasnetAEljajaLKristensenPMunkholm AndersenLNeustrupSMøllgaardPBjerrumO-JPredictive validity of pharmacologic interventions in animal models of neuropathic painScand J Pain2011217884
Scandinavian Journal of Pain – de Gruyter
Published: Apr 1, 2013
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