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Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2003 May-Jun;28(3):245-7.

Complex regional pain syndrome type I after myocardial infarction treated with spinal cord stimulation.

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Massachusetts General Hospital Pain Center, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



A rare case of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) type I after myocardial infarction (MI) and significant comorbid illness with few treatment options for pain control was successfully managed with the placement of a spinal cord stimulator (SCS).


A 44-year-old man presented with left upper extremity burning pain after MI. His past medical history included insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, oxygen-dependent idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and recent coronary revascularization surgery. His pain was presumed to be related to his MI and a clinical diagnosis of CRPS type I (or reflex sympathetic dystrophy) was made. Facing limited medical and less invasive options for his pain relief, he underwent a spinal cord stimulation trial with excellent response. He had more than 70% pain relief from the spinal cord stimulation at the last follow-up, 2 years later.


CRPS type I after MI can be difficult to treat because of other comorbid illnesses. SCS can be a safe and effective mode of therapy for patients facing limited treatment options.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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