COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Segmental reflex sympathetic dystrophy: clinical and scintigraphic criteria

S C Kline, L E Holder
Journal of Hand Surgery 1993, 18 (5): 853-9
8228057
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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