BACKGROUND: In patients with complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (CRPS1), some improvement can be achieved by the administration of ketanserin, a 5-HT2A receptor antagonist. We measured plasma levels of serotonin (5-HT) during CRPS1 and correlated these levels with disease characteristics. METHODS: Plasma 5-HT was measured in 35 patients who had CRPS1 for 3 yr and compared with 35 age-matched healthy controls. RESULTS: The plasma 5-HT levels were 411 ± 263 nmol/L and 29 ± 18 nmol/L, respectively (P < 0.001). No correlations with disease characteristics were observed. CONCLUSIONS: The markedly elevated levels of plasma 5-HT in CRPS1 patients suggest a role for 5-HT during the course of this disease. However, because of the lack of correlations with distinct disease characteristics, 5-HT is probably one of a number of mediators in CRPS1.

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Journal Anesthesia and Analgesia
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Wesseldijk, F, Fekkes, D, Huygen, F.J.P.M, Bogaerts-Taal, E, & Zijlstra, F.J. (2008). Increased plasma serotonin in complex regional pain syndrome type 1. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 106(6), 1862–1867. doi:10.1213/ane.0b013e318172c2f4