What is the role of radionuclide imaging in the workup of complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (CRPS 1) (RSD)?

Updated: Sep 09, 2018
  • Author: T P Sudha Rao, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Findings on three-phase radionuclide bone scans are positive in 50-90% of patients with CRPS, and this study is most useful in early disease. Findings on the delayed image (ie, third phase) are generally abnormal, with increased uptake in the articular and periarticular structures of the involved extremity. Of course, this finding is not specific for CRPS) but is supportive of that diagnosis in the appropriate clinical situation. In chronic CRPS, the bone scan findings may be normal, but the plain radiographs generally reveal profound demineralization of the affected extremity. For more information, see Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Imaging.


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