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Comments, Opinions, and Brief Case Reports
November 12, 2001

Complete Resolution of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy With Thalidomide Treatment

Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(20):2502-2503. doi:

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a disabling syndrome of regional pain, sensory changes, and edema following a noxious event.1 The pathogenesis is believed to be related to an increased rate of efferent sympathetic nerve impulses toward the involved extremity induced by increased afferent activity. Thus, therapy has been aimed at interrupting sympathetic nerve activity medically, surgically, or chemically.1,2 Therapy for RSD is disappointing, and patients experience a significantly poor quality of life. We report a serendipitous dramatic resolution of RSD in a patient treated with thalidomide for recently diagnosed myeloma unrelated to her RSD.

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