- The term hyperpathia comes from the Greek words huper (to exceed a certain boundary) and patheia (suffering, affliction, pain). It translates loosely as 'an exaggerated perception of pain'. The term is used to denote a condition characterized by an increased sensitivity to cutaneous stimuli such as a gentle touch, heat, or coldness, entailing a burning, painful sensation. Hyperpathia is usually classified as a type of " hyperaesthesia. Pathophysiologically, it is associated primarily with a lowered threshold for cutaneous sensory stimuli. As a consequence, hyper-pathia tends to affect the whole ofone side ofthe body, but generalized hyperpathia has also been described. Etiologically, it is associated primarily with thalamic lesions due to cerebral haemorrhage, thrombosis, or a neoplasm. The term hyperpathia is used in opposition to the terms " allodynia (which refers to a condition characterized by pain due to stimuli that do not normally evoke pain) and "hyperalgesia (which refers to a condition similar to hyperpathia, but affecting a smaller part of the skin, due to its peripheral origin). It should not be confused with"hallucinated pain.ReferencesCanavero, S., Bonicalzi, V. (2007). Central pain syndrome. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.