Frontocentral delta-beta amplitude coupling in endometriosis-related chronic pelvic pain

Publication Name

Clinical Neurophysiology


Objective: Endometriosis is associated with neuroplastic changes in cognitive control and pain processing networks. This was the first study to assess eyes-closed resting electroencephalogram (EEG) oscillatory amplitudes in women with endometriosis compared to healthy controls, and explore the relationship with chronic pelvic pain. Methods: Women with endometriosis-related chronic pelvic pain and individually age-matched pain-free controls (N = 20 per group) documented pelvic pain for 28 days before having continuous EEG recorded during a 2 min eyes closed resting state. Natural frequency components were extracted for each group using frequency principal components analysis. Corresponding components were assessed for group differences and correlated with pain scores. Results: Relative to controls, the endometriosis group had greater component amplitudes in delta (0.5 Hz) and beta (∼28 Hz), and reduced alpha (∼10 Hz). Delta and beta amplitudes were positively associated with pain severity, but only beta maintained this association after delta-beta amplitude coupling was controlled. Conclusions: Enhanced resting delta and beta amplitudes were seen in women with endometriosis experiencing chronic pelvic pain. This delta-beta coupling varied with pelvic pain severity, perhaps reflecting altered cholinergic tone and/or stress reactivity. Significance: Endometriosis-related changes in central pain processing demonstrate a distinct neuronal oscillatory signature detectable at rest.

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National Health and Medical Research Council



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