Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome is based on a physical exam and your medical history. There's no single test that can definitively diagnose complex regional pain syndrome, but the following procedures may provide important clues:

  • Bone scan. This procedure may help detect bone changes. A radioactive substance injected into one of your veins permits viewing of your bones with a special camera.
  • Sympathetic nervous system tests. These tests look for disturbances in your sympathetic nervous system. For example, thermography measures the skin temperature and blood flow of your affected and unaffected limbs.

    Other tests can measure the amount of sweat on both limbs. Dissimilar results can indicate complex regional pain syndrome.

  • X-rays. Loss of minerals from your bones may show up on an X-ray in later stages of the disease.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Images captured by an MRI device may show a number of tissue changes.
Apr. 12, 2014

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