Concordance of qualitative bone scintigraphy results with presence of clinical complex regional pain syndrome 1: Meta-analysis of test accuracy studies


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Florian Brunner




To date, no attempt has been made to investigate the agreement between qualitative bone scintigraphy (BS) and the presence of complex regional pain syndrome 1 (CRPS 1) and the agreement between a negative BS in the absence of CRPS 1.


To summarize the existing evidence quantifying the concordance of qualitative BS in the presence or absence of clinical CRPS 1.

Data Sources

We searched Medline, Embase, Dare and the Cochrane Library and screened bibliographies of all included studies.

Study Eligibility Criteria

We selected diagnostic studies investigating the association between qualitative BS results and the clinical diagnosis of CRPS 1. The minimum requirement for inclusion was enough information to fill the two-by-two tables.


Twelve studies met our inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled mean sensitivity of 12 two-by-two tables was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.68–0.97) and specificity was 0.69 (95% CI, 0.47–0.85). The pooled mean sensitivity for the subgroup with clearly defined diagnostic criteria (seven two-by-two tables) was 0.80 (95% CI, 0.44–0.95) and specificity was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.40–0.91).


Based on this study, clinicians must be advised that a positive BS is not necessarily concordant with presence of absence or CRPS 1. Given the moderate level of concordance between a positive BS in the absence of clinical CRPS 1, discordant results potentially impede the diagnosis of CRPS 1.