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J Nucl Med. 1988 Jan;29(1):26-32.

Three-phase bone scanning in reflex sympathetic dystrophy of the hand.

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  • 1Nuclear Medicine Department, C.H.R.U. Hautepierre, Strasbourg, France.


Three-phase bone scanning was performed in 181 patients suffering from reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) of the hand. Four quantitative parameters were defined as follows: (a) hemovelocity and (b) blood pool (determined from the Fourier processing of angiographic data); (c) early (3-5 min) and (d) delayed (2-3 hr) bone fixation. Three significant stages of RSD were demonstrated scintigraphically. Stage I (0-20 wk from onset) demonstrated increases in velocity, blood pool, and early and delayed fixations. At stage II (20-60 wk) blood velocity and blood pool were normalized, but early and delayed hyperfixation persisted. During stage III (60-100 wk) blood velocity and blood pool were reduced on the affected hand, and early and delayed fixations were normalized. Such abnormality of decreased hemodynamic parameters may become associated with bone hypofixation in stage III. Early treatment of RSD (as compared with delayed treatment) has been demonstrated to induce normalization of hemovelocity (p less than 0.05), blood pool (p less than 0.02), and joint stiffness (p less than 0.001) without any change in the bone fixation; therefore, three-phase bone scanning may provide useful information regarding the pathophysiologic and clinical evolution of RSD.

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