Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain syndrome that causes intractable pain, disability, and poor quality of life for patients. The etiology and pathophysiology of CRPS are still poorly understood. Due to a lack of proper diagnostic tools, the prognosis of CRPS is primarily based on clinical observation. The objective of this work is to evaluate a new imaging modality, photoacoustic microscopy (PAM), for assisting diagnoses and monitoring the progress and treatment outcome of CRPS. Blood vasculature and oxygen saturation (sO2) were imaged by PAM from eight adult patients with CRPS-1. Patients' hands and cuticles were imaged both before and after stellate ganglion block (SGB) for comparison. For all patients, both vascular structure and sO2 could be assessed by PAM. In addition, more vessels and stronger signals were observed after SGB. The results show that PAM can help diagnose and monitor CRPS.
- complex regional pain syndrome
- photoacoustic microscopy
- stellate ganglion block