Complex regional pain syndrome type I in children

Acta Paediatr. 2008 Jul;97(7):875-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.00744.x. Epub 2008 Apr 9.


Background: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type I (CRPS I) is a potentially incapacitating syndrome which can occur after a minor injury or operation to a limb. It is a disorder characterized by pain, sensory and motor disturbances. CRPS I is well known in adults, but a relatively new diagnostic entity in children. The clinical presentation of CRPS I in children is, to some extent, different from adults and therefore sometimes not recognized early. The aim of this study was to search for differences in patient characteristics between children and adults with CRPS I.

Methods: We have performed a retrospective chart review of 78 children (age </=16 year) with CRPS I and compared the data with those of 951 adults with CRPS I.

Results: The child population consisted predominantly of girls and older children (median age 13 years). The child population differed from adults in that the skin temperature of the involved extremity at onset was more often cooler, the lower extremity was involved more frequently and neurological and sympathetic symptoms were less pronounced.

Conclusions: In several aspects, CRPS I in children has a different presentation than in adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / diagnosis*
  • Skin Temperature