Metabolic changes in reflex sympathetic dystrophy: a 31P NMR spectroscopy study

Muscle Nerve. 1993 Apr;16(4):367-73. doi: 10.1002/mus.880160405.


The lower leg skeletal muscles of 11 patients affected by reflex sympathetic dystrophy were investigated at rest by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy at a fieldstrength of 1.5 T. The results were compared with similar investigations of unaffected lower leg muscles of patients and volunteers. A significant increase was observed for the average tissue pH of the muscles of affected legs as deduced from the chemical shift of the resonance for inorganic phosphate. The average inorganic phosphate/phosphocreatine ratio of these muscles was also increased. The impairment of high energy phosphate metabolism, as deduced from the NMR data, may be caused by cellular hypoxia or diminished oxygen utilization, which would agree with previous findings that oxygen extraction is reduced in extremities affected by reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

MeSH terms

  • Adenine Nucleotides / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Phosphocreatine / metabolism
  • Phosphorus
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / metabolism*


  • Adenine Nucleotides
  • Phosphates
  • Phosphocreatine
  • Phosphorus