Screening and Diagnostic Tools for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

A Systematic Review

Giulia Mesarolia; Amos Hundert; Kathryn A. Birnie; Fiona Campbell; Jennifer Stinson


Pain. 2021;162(5):1295-1304. 

In This Article


There are 4 diagnostic tools for CRPS in adult populations, and none in children or adolescents. These include the Veldman criteria, IASP criteria, Budapest Criteria, and Budapest Research Criteria. A quality assessment revealed a high risk of bias in the studies that evaluated the measurement properties of these 4 diagnostic tools. Further research is needed to validate these existing tools. The authors recommend that for adults with CRPS, clinicians use the Budapest Criteria for diagnosis in combination with clinical judgement, and researchers to use the Budapest Research Criteria. For pediatric CRPS, there are no valid diagnostic criteria, and caution should be taken if applying any of the above criteria. A clinical diagnosis by a pediatric pain specialist is preferred. Unfortunately, to date, there are no screening tools for CRPS. All people with suspected CRPS should be assessed rapidly by a clinician to undergo diagnostic assessment and appropriate treatment. Future research is recommended to develop a diagnostic tool for pediatric populations and screening tools for both children and adults.