Meta-analysis of imaging techniques for the diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome type I

Zachary J Cappello, Morton L Kasdan, Dean S Louis
Journal of Hand Surgery 2012, 37 (2): 288-96

PURPOSE: To compare the effectiveness of imaging techniques in aiding and confirming the diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type I.

METHODS: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies that evaluated the effectiveness of 3 different imaging techniques in aiding the diagnosis of CRPS type I. A systematic search in bibliographical databases resulted in 24 studies with 1,916 participants.

RESULTS: To determine the effectiveness of each imaging technique, we determined the average specificity, sensitivity, negative predictive value, and positive predictive value and then statistically compared them using the analysis of variance statistical test, which indicated that compared with magnetic resonance imaging and plain film radiography, triple-phase bone scan had a significantly better sensitivity and negative predictive values. However, there appeared to be no statistical significance between imaging techniques when we evaluated specificity and positive predictive value using the analysis of variance test.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this meta-analysis support the use of triple-phase bone scan in ruling out CRPS type I, owing to its greater sensitivity and higher negative predictive value than both magnetic resonance imaging and plain film radiography.


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