Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Diagnostic criteria and follow-up parameters in complex regional pain syndrome type I--a Delphi survey.

BACKGROUND: Although the current clinical guideline of diagnostic criteria for the complex regional pain syndrome I (CRPS I) is a landmark endeavour to define this complex condition it does not prioritise its most important clinical manifestations.

AIM: We set out to obtain an expert agreed priority list of diagnostic and follow-up parameters in the diagnosis and management of CRPS I.

METHODS: A two round Delphi survey: We asked international experts to list (first round) and weight (second round) parameters (scale 1-10) they believed to be relevant in diagnosis and follow-up. Median ratings and interquartile ranges (IQR) were calculated. Rates 7 and IQR 3 depicted important and expert agreed parameters.

RESULTS: Thirty-two diagnostic and 23 follow-up listings and ratings of 13 experts were available for analysis. In three domains (clinical presentation, further examinations and follow-up) experts agreed on the following parameters, pain (10; 9-10) with its subcategories hyperesthesia (7; 5-8) hyperalgesia (8; 8-8) and allodynia (8; 7-10), signs with oedema (9; 8-10) and colour change (8; 5-8) and mobility with its categories motor change (7; 5-8) and decreased range of motion (8; 8-8). The experts agreed that no further examinations were necessary for diagnosis (10; 8-10). The agreed important follow-up parameter was clinical course (10; 8-10) with its categories decrease in pain (8; 8-9) and hyperalgesia (8; 6-8), decreased oedema (8; 7-10) and improvements in motor function (10; 8-10) and strength (8; 6-9).

CONCLUSION: This expert survey conveys an agreed set of relevant diagnostic parameters of CRPS I and proposes that in follow-up examinations treatment success should be based on restoration of those manifestations.

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