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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,063
Online ISSN 1973-9095
Bianchi C., Rossi S., Turi S., Brambilla A., Felisari G., Mascheri D.
Rehabilitation Department Fondazione Istituto Sacra Famiglia Cesano Boscone (Milan), Italy
Aim. The aim of this paper was to assess the effects of low-dose systemic corticosteroid therapy in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), to measure the long-term functional outcome, and to evaluate an arbitrary scale of severity of CRPS.
Methods. An evaluation of 31 consecutive subjects diagnosed with CRPS before and after they underwent corticosteroid therapy was carried out. The clinical and functional variables considered were evaluated at baseline, halfway through therapy, at the end and after 1, 6 and 12 months after the end of treatment. A clinical severity scale of CRPS was devised.
Results. The comparison between baseline and post-treatment data of the principal variables resulted in all cases significant (P<0.001), as did, in most cases, the changes in variables between successive time intervals (P<0.05), supporting the long-term efficacy of treatment. The score of the clinical severity scale of CRPS showed a significant improvement in the one-year follow-up.
Conclusion. Corticosteroid therapy in CRPS provides a short-term response to the pain with a low risk of side effects. The improvement in all the variables considered persisted at one-year follow-up. The arbitrary scale of clinical severity of CRPS should be further tested in order to propose it as an instrument for use in following the course of CRPS.