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Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2010 Jun;14(3):196-202. doi: 10.1007/s11916-010-0115-9.

Complex regional pain syndrome type I: neuropathic or not?

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Division of Neurological Pain Research and Therapy, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Arnold-Heller-Str. 3, Haus 41, 24105, Kiel, Germany.


Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is clinically characterized by pain, abnormal regulation of blood flow and sweating, edema of skin and subcutaneous tissues, active and passive movement disorders, and trophic changes. It is classified as type I (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) and type II (causalgia). CRPS cannot be reduced to one system or to one mechanism only. In the past decades, there has been absolutely no doubt that complex regional pain syndromes have to be classified as neuropathic pain disorders. This situation changed when a proposal to redefine neuropathic pain states was recently published, which resulted in an exclusion of CRPS from neuropathic pain disorders. We analyzed the strength of the scientific evidence that supports the neuropathic nature of complex regional pain syndromes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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