Condition category
Signs and Symptoms
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Not provided at time of registration

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr J J van Hilten


Contact details

Leiden University Medical Centre
Department of Neurology
Postzone K-05Q
P.O. Box 9600
2300 RC
+31 (0)71 526 2895

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number

BSIK03016; NTR61

Study information

Scientific title

The effect of intrathecal methylprednisolone on features of central sensitisation in patients with chronic complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type one


IMAC (Intrathecal Methylprednisolone And CRPS)

Study hypothesis

Intrathecal methylprednisolone reduce the features of central sensitisation in patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type one having symptoms longer than six months and shorter than six years.

Ethics approval

Ethics approval received from the local ethics committee

Study design

Randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel group study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Not specified

Trial type


Patient information sheet


Chronic complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (CRPS I)


In all patients a lumbar puncture will be performed. After a lumbar puncture 5 ml of fluid is removed for cytologic and biochemical tests. An additional 5 ml of fluid will be removed for the measurement of the level of cytokines. Then 60 mg of Depo-medrol® (methylprednisolone acetate) or placebo is injected. For patients whose pain is located in an arm the table will be tilted into the head-down position immediately after the intrathecal injection to allow the injected material to spread to the upper thoracic canal. Patients with symptoms in the lower extremities are kept in a horizontal position.

Outcomes will be assessed six weeks after the intervention.

Intervention type



Not Specified

Drug names

Methylprednisolone acetate

Primary outcome measure

The severity of spontaneous pain is evaluated through a 10 cm visual analogue scale (0 cm represents no pain, 10 cm represents the worst imaginable pain). This will be filled in at home in a diary. Primary outcome is pain relief at six weeks.

Secondary outcome measures

1. Sensory assessments:
1.1. The nature of the pain is assessed by means of the neuropathic pain scale developed by Galer which consists of several visual analogue scales for different kinds of pain. Also a McGill Pain Questionnaire will be administered
1.2. Hyper- and hypo-esthesia and allodynia will be tested using Von Frey hairs
1.3. Pain and temperature perception thresholds (Temperature Sensory Assessment using the Medoc TSA II Neurosensory Analyser). A thermode will be placed on the volar side of the wrist or dorsal side of the foot
1.4. Somatosensory evoked potentials
2. Autonomic assessments:
2.1. Skin temperature of affected and contralateral extremity and midsternal
2.2. The difference in volume between the affected and contralateral extremity is assessed by a volumeter as a measure for edema. This instrument measures the amount of water that is displaced by the immersed body part
2.3. Pulse transit time (the time the pulse wave takes to travel from heart to finger) as a measure of peripheral vessel resistance
3. Motor assessments:
3.1. Patients will be evaluated for the presence and severity dystonia, myoclonus and tremor (none, intermittent, continuous)
3.2. Range of motion will be assessed using a universal goniometer
3.3. In those patients in which this can be evaluated, movement velocity of repetitive fingertaps will be objectively quantified
3.4. In those patients in which this can be evaluated, proprioceptive reflexes will be assessed using a wrist pertubator
4. Disability:
4.1. Patients will be asked to mark the change in function of the affected hand or foot on a scale from one to seven (one = maximal worse, four = no change, seven = maximal better)
4.2. Radboud skills questionnaire, walking stairs questionnaire and questionnaire rising and sitting down will be administered
4.3. Participation and global health will be assessed using the Short Form (SF-36)questionnaire, EuroQol 5D questionnaire, Inventarisatielijst Sociale Betrekkingen (ISB) and Impact on Participation and Autonomy (IPA)
5. (Serious) adverse events

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

Patients will be male or female, outpatients aged 18 to 75 years, with a clinical diagnosis of CRPS who are referred to the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC):
1. At onset patients must fulfill the criteria for CRPS I. These criteria include:
1.1. The combination of continuing pain
1.2. Allodynia or hyperalgesia
1.3. Rendering the pain disproportionate to any inciting event
1.4. Evidence at some time of oedema
1.5. Changes in skin blood flow
1.6. Abnormal sudomotor activity in the region of the pain
1.7. Absence of a condition which would otherwise account for the degree of pain and dysfunction
2. When entering the study patients must suffer from symptoms and signs indicative of central sensitisation (continuing pain, hyperalgesia and/or allodynia)
3. Patients must have symptoms for more than six months and shorter than six years
4. Use of pain medication must have been stable in the previous four weeks
5. Patients must be willing and able to give informed consent according to the national requirements
6. Patients must report spontaneous pain of at least 5 cm on a visual analogue scale (0 cm represents no pain, 10 cm represents the worst imaginable pain)

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Total final enrolment


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Patients are excluded if they can obtain satisfactory relief of symptoms with conventional treatments such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or paracetamol
2. Patients using oral anticoagulant medication or having an impaired blood coagulation for other reasons
3. Patients suffering from diabetes mellitus
4. Patients with an immunocompromised state
5. Patients with an acute infection
6. Patients with an intracranial space occupying lesion
7. Patients with a thrombocytopenia of less than 50 x 10^9/l
8. Patients with clinically significant psychiatric illness
9. Patients who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse within the past year
10. Patients with a known hypersensitivity to (methyl)prednisolone
11. Patients who are unlikely to comply with study requirements or have a history of poor compliance to medical regimens or study requirements
12. Patients who have received an experimental treatment within the last month
13. Pregnant, nursing women and females of childbearing potential not using oral contraceptives or a medically recognised mechanical means of contraception
14. Patients involved in legal proceedings (claiming compensation for the CRPS I)

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Leiden University Medical Centre
2300 RC

Sponsor information


Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) (The Netherlands)

Sponsor details

Department of Neurology
P.O. Box 9600
2300 RC

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Ministry of Economic Affairs (The Netherlands)

Alternative name(s)

Ministry of Economic Affairs, Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, EZ

Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

National government



Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2010 results in: (added 04/06/2019)

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

04/06/2019: Total final enrolment and publication reference were added.