2019 IARS Mentored Research Award

Lara Crock, PhD, MD
Washington University in St. Louis
Instructor, Fellow, MTPCI Scholar
Saint Louis, MO

Dr. Crock’s Research

Role of the Microbiome in the Persistence of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a debilitating condition of unknown etiology that develops following surgery or trauma. Patients with a history of CRPS are difficult in terms of anesthesiology and pain management because they are more likely to redevelop CRPS or have uncontrolled post-operative pain when they undergo surgical procedures. In our pain management clinic, around 50% of patients recover if treated within one year. Those who do not are permanently disabled, requiring extensive treatments including long-term opioids. Interestingly, some patients with CRPS have recovered following antibiotic treatment. Further, mouse models suggest a crucial role of the gut microbiome in the development of pain. We hypothesize that the gut microbiome influences development and recovery from CRPS and will test this hypothesis in two phases. First, a cross-sectional observational study will examine the gut microbiome taxonomy and fecal metabolites of patients with current or former CRPS diagnoses. Second, we will follow patients with a new diagnosis of CRPS to determine if microbiome biomarkers predict symptom improvement. This early-stage translational study may lead to important insights into the factors regulating the neurobiology of chronic pain. With improved understanding of associated triggers and biomarkers, we could develop innovative non-opioid treatment modalities targeting the microbiome to treat and prevent development of chronic pain.

Encourage, stimulate, and fund ongoing anesthesia-related research projects that will enhance and advance the specialty, and to disseminate current, state-of-the-art, basic and clinical research data in all areas of clinical anesthesia, including perioperative medicine, critical care, and pain management. The IARS is focused solely on the advancement and support of education and scientific research related to anesthesiology.

A&A Case Reports

IMRA Awards

This award is intended to support investigations that will further the understanding of clinical practice in anesthesiology and related sciences. Up to four research projects are selected annually, with a maximum award of $175,000 each, payable over two years.

International Anesthesia Research Society
90 New Montgomery Street, Suite 412
San Francisco, CA 94105