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Acceptance of the different denominations for reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  1. B Alvarez-Lario,
  2. Í Aretxabala-Alcíbar,
  3. J Alegre-López,
  4. J L Alonso-Valdivielso
  1. Division of Rheumatology, Hospital General Yagüe, Instituto Nacional de la Salud, Burgos, Spain
  1. Dr B Alvarez Lario, División de Reumatología, Hospital General Yagüe, Avda del Cid, 96, 09005 Burgos, Spainbalario{at}


OBJECTIVE To elucidate the real impact in the medical literature of the different denominations for reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).

METHODS A search was performed through the Medline database (WinSPIRS, SilverPlatter International, NS), from 1995 to 1999, including the following descriptors: RSD, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), CRPS type I, algodystrophy, Sudeck, shoulder-hand syndrome, transient osteoporosis, causalgia, and CRPS type II.

RESULTS The descriptor RSD was detected in 576 references, algodystrophy in 54, transient osteoporosis in 42, CRPS type I in 24, Sudeck in 16, and shoulder-hand syndrome in 11. One hundred records were obtained for the descriptor causalgia and five for CRPS type II. The descriptor RSD was detected in the title of 262 references, algodystrophy in 29, transient osteoporosis in 29, CRPS type I in 15, Sudeck in 3, shoulder-hand syndrome in 5, causalgia in 17, and CRPS type II in 3 references.

CONCLUSIONS The new CRPS terminology has not effectively replaced the old one. RSD and causalgia are the most used denominations.

  • reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • algodystrophy
  • complex regional pain syndrome
  • causalgia

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