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Vivianne Tawfik, MD, PhD is a board certified Anesthesiologist and Pain Medicine physician who specializes in the treatment of complex chronic pain disorders including chronic post-operative pain, complex regional pain syndrome and peripheral nerve injury. She obtained her MD and PhD in Neuroscience, with a focus on basic pain mechanisms, at Dartmouth Medical School before joining the Stanford Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine as an anesthesiology resident in the Fellowship in Anesthesia Research and Medicine (FARM) program, of which she now serves as the Director. After completion of her subspecialty fellowship training in Pain Medicine, Dr. Tawfik joined the faculty at Stanford and continues to research the immune contribution to persistent pain while treating patients suffering from chronic pain.She enjoys science, sushi and snowboarding in her free time.
My overall research interest is to understand how the immune system interacts with the nervous system after injury to promote the transition from acute to chronic pain. In my clinical practice I care for patients with persistent pain that often occurs after minor trauma such as fracture or surgery. Using basic science approaches including whole system immune phenotyping with mass cytometry and genetic manipulation of peripheral and central immune cells, we seek to dissect the temporal and tissue-specific contribution of these cells to either promotion or inhibition of healing.
[18F]FTC-146 PET/MRI in Healthy Volunteers and in CRPS and Sciatica
Chronic pain can result from injured or inflamed nerves, as occurs in people suffering from
sciatica and CRPS. These nerve injuries or regions of nerve irritation are often the cause of
pain in these conditions, but the current diagnostic tools are limited in pinpointing the
area of origin. Several studies have implicated involvement of sigma-1 receptors in the
generation and perpetuation of chronic pain conditions, others are investigating anti sigma-1
receptor drugs for the treatment of chronic pain. Using the sigma-1 receptor (S1R) detector
and experimental radiotracer [18F]FTC-146 and positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance
imaging (PET/MRI) scanner, the researchers may potentially identify the source of pain
generation in patients suffering from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and chronic
sciatica. The ultimate goal is to assist in the optimization of pain treatment regimens using
an [18F]FTC-146 PET/MRI scan.
The study is not designed to induce any physiological/pharmacological effect.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact Sandip Biswal, MD, 650-725-8018.
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Use of PET/MR Imaging in Chronic Pain
The investigators are studying the ability of PET/MR imaging (using the PET tracer [18F]FDG)
to objectively identify and characterize pain generators in patients suffering from chronic