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:
Apr. 12, 2014
- 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.
- McMahon SB, et al. Wall and Melzack's Textbook of Pain. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier. 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 21, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 21, 2013.
- Borchers AT, et al. Complex regional pain syndrome: A comprehensive and critical review. Autoimmunity Reviews. In press. Accessed Dec. 21, 2013.
- Abdi S. Etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 21, 2013.
- Complex regional pain syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy/detail_reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy.htm. Accessed Dec. 21, 2013.
- Abdi S. Prevention and management of complex regional pain syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 21, 2013.
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