Segmental reflex sympathetic dystrophy: clinical and scintigraphic criteria

S C Kline, L E Holder
Journal of Hand Surgery 1993, 18 (5): 853-9
Clinical and scintigraphic criteria are proposed for the diagnosis of segmental reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Eight patients met previously described clinical criteria for reflex sympathetic dystrophy with involvement limited to only a portion of the hand. The delayed phase of the three-phase radionuclide bone scan was found to be highly sensitive (100%) for this small group of patients. Consecutive bone scans (n = 127) performed during a 6-month period for a variety of upper extremity problems were reviewed, and a segmentally diffuse pattern of tracer uptake was found to be highly specific (98%) for segmental reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Recognition and documentation of a more localized form of reflex sympathetic dystrophy will allow earlier recognition and treatment, which is an important factor in a successful outcome for managing pain dysfunction disorders.

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