Normal sympathetic nervous system response in reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Functional neurology

PubMedID: 12224794

Figuerola Mde L, Levin G, Bertotti A, Ferreiro J, Barontini M. Normal sympathetic nervous system response in reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Funct Neurol. 2002;17(2):77-81.
We evaluated sympathetic nervous system activity by sympathetic skin response (SSR) recording and we further investigated sympathetic and opioid outflow indirectly in patients with features of reflex sympathetic dystrophy by measuring concentrations of plasma catecholamines (CAs) and their metabolites and plasma metenkephalin (ME), before and after corticoid treatment. Six patients were studied. Basal SSR latencies, morphologies and amplitudes were normal in five patients. In one woman, latency and amplitude were also normal but the morphology was disturbed. Basal plasma ME, CA and metabolite levels were similar in the affected and non-affected limbs and a significant increase in plasma ME concentrations was observed in both affected and non-affected limbs after two weeks of steroid treatment. Altogether these results point to an adaptive supersensitivity rather than a sympathetic hyperactivity in this syndrome; also, they indicate that the therapeutic effect of steroids adds, to their known anti-inflammatory action, a stimulatory action on the endogenous opioid system.