Distribution of signs and symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type I in patients meeting the diagnostic criteria of the international association for the study of pain

Remco D. H. de Boer*, Johan Marinus, Jacobus J. van Hilten, Frank J. P. M. Huygen, Frank van Eijs, Maarten van Kleef, Martin C. R. Bauer, Miriam A. van Gestel, Wouter W. A. Zuurmond, Roberto S. G. M. Perez

*Corresponding author for this work

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The aim of the present study was to describe the occurrence of signs and symptoms in CRPS I patients meeting the IASP (Orlando) criteria, assess the occurrence of signs and symptoms in relation to disease duration and compare these to historical data based on a different diagnostic criteria set. Six hundred and ninety-two ambulatory patients meeting the IASP criteria for CRPS I referred to the outpatient clinics of five participating centers were included in this cross-sectional study. Characteristics were recorded in a standardized fashion and categorized according to the factor structure proposed by Bruehl/Harden. Subgroups were classified according to the duration of complaints and compared to historical data as described by Veldman et al. The Chi-square test corrected for multiple comparisons was used for statistical analysis. The prevalence of sensory signs was higher in patients with longer disease duration, especially for the allodynia's and hyperalgesia (all p <0.001). Signs in vasomotor (color difference; p = 0.0007) and sudomotor (edema; p <0.0001) subgroups were less frequently present in patients with longer disease duration (i.e. >6 months). Prevalences of signs in the motor subgroup were all higher (p <0.0001) in patients with longer disease duration, except for limited range of motion. Occurrence of signs was significantly lower (<0.001) than those reported by Veldman et al., except for hyperesthesia and dystonia. Occurrence rates may vary at different time points after onset of CRPS, which may be of influence for diagnosing patients with novel derived diagnostic criteria. We argue for a mechanism based description of CRPS I based on one set of uniform generally accepted diagnostic criteria in future studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Diagnosis
  • Signs
  • Symptoms
  • Disease course

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