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Table 2 Characteristics of included studies table

From: Diagnostic utility of patient history, clinical examination and screening tool data to identify neuropathic pain in low back related leg pain: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

Author Study design Phenomena of interest Inclusion & exclusion criteria Population Index test Reference standard
Capra et al., 2011 [16]
Cross-sectional observational study Sciatica with or without lumbar pain Inclusion: 16–85 years, acute or recurrent sciatica (located distal to the knee), undergone MRI.
Exclusion: diabetes, neoplasia, spinal cord disease, workers compensation, prior surgery, peripheral neuropathy, retroperitoneal pathology.
*n = 2352 (Female: n = 1120, Male: n = 1232)
Mean (*SD) age: 49.22 (14.68)
Straight leg raise *MRI
Gudala et al., 2017 [30]
Cross-sectional observational study *CLBP with or without leg pain Inclusion: > 18, CLBP > 3 months, understand Hindi.
Exclusion: diabetes, cancer, chronic pain conditions, pregnant, incomplete data.
n = 215 (Female: n = 104, Male: n = 111)
Mean (SD) age: 46.6 (13.9)
*S-DN4, ID Pain, painDETECT questionnaire, *S-LANSS Physician opinion
Lin et al., 2017 [17]
Cross-sectional observational study Lumbar lateral stenosis involving L5 nerve root Inclusion: back pain with or without leg pain lasting > 3 months, corresponding lesion on MRI (central spinal stenosis, lateral recess stenosis, foraminal stenosis, segmental instability.
Exclusion: spinal tumour/infection, Cauda equina syndrome, refused index test, Visual analogue scale < 2, bilateral L5 symptoms. L4/5 foraminal stenosis or L5/S1 central stenosis and those who have pathology not involving the L4/5 or L5/S1 level.
n = 60
(Female: n = 38, Male: n = 22)
Mean (SD) age: 61.37 (Nil reported)
*SQST MRI: grade 3 lateral stenosis
Poiraudeau et al., 2001 [31]
Cross-sectional observational study Sciatica associated with disc herniation Inclusion: Patients hospitalised for acute or chronic sciatica of mechanical origin. Sciatica defined as: “lumbosacral and lower limb pain, associated or not with paraesthesias and with one of the following conditions: radicular pain below the knee after an L5 or S1 nerve root dermatome; and radicular pain above the knee associated with neurological impairment reflex abolition, muscular weakness or sensory defects in the corresponding radicular area).” (Poiraudeau et al., 2001).
Exclusion criteria: LBP without sciatica, radicular pain in a dermatome other than L5 and or S1, systemic lumboradicular pain tumour, infectious or inflammatory disease, prior lumbar surgery, uncontrolled psychiatric disorder.
n = 78
(Female: n = 45, Male: n = 33)
Mean (SD) age: 50 (16)
Bell’s test,
*HE test,
Lasegue signs,
Crossed Lasegue sign
MRI, CT, saccoradiculography
Scholz et al., 2009 [12]
Cross-sectional observational study NP in LBP (radicular) Inclusion: CLBP, pain duration ≥3 months, Visual analogue scale > 6, age ≥ 18 .
Exclusion criteria: severe medical or psychiatric illness, painful disorder or neurological disease that might have interfered with the pain assessment, local infection
n = 138
(Female: n = 78, Male: n = 60)
Mean (SD) age:
45 (Nil reported)
* StEP tool Independent physician clinical diagnosis
Smart et al., 2012 [18]
Cross-sectional observational study Peripheral NP in patients with or without leg pain Inclusion: >  18, LBP with or without leg pain, those with a dominance of peripheral NP (deemed through a Delphi consensus list).
Exclusion: Patients with a history of diabetes or central nervous system injury, pregnancy or non-musculoskeletal LBP
n: 102
(Female: n = 53, Male: n = 49)
Mean (SD) age:
44 (13.1)
Cluster of subjective/
objective indicators
Clinical judgement
Trainor et al., 2011 [32]
Cross-sectional observational study
Pilot study
Upper/mid lumbar nerve root compression Inclusion: lumbosacral radicular pain, defined as: pain radiating unilateral/bilateral distal to gluteal crease, pain distribution in dermatome area/1 or 2 levels above/below
Exclusion: cervical/thoracic pain, Red flags, spinal pathology or systemic illness, recent quads injury or unable to lie in test position.
n: 16
(Female: n = 7, Male: n = 9)
Mean (SD) age: 49 (Nil reported)
Slump knee bend MRI
Urban et al., 2015 [33]
Cross-sectional observational study NP in lower limb Inclusion: LBP with or without leg pain, 25 years or >, English speaking, suitable for complete neuro exam, conservatively managed.
Exclusion: Previous back surgery, systemic illness or central condition.
n: 21
(Female: n = n/a, Male: n = n/a)
Mean (SD) age:
Nil reported
Slump Standard clinical Assessment
Verwoerd et al., 2014 [34]
Cross-sectional observational study Lumbosacral nerve root compression Inclusion: 18–65 age, diagnosed, by neurologist, “incapacitating lumbosacral radicular syndrome, 6–12 weeks.
Exclusion: Cauda equina, unable to resist against gravity muscle strength, previous spinae surgery, sever comorbidity, pregnancy, similar episode in last 12 months.
n: 395
(Female: n = 147, Male: n = 248)
Mean (SD) age: 42.8 (10)
History taking MRI
Vroomen et al., 2002 [19]
Cross-sectional observational study Lumbosacral nerve root compression Inclusion: pain that warrants bed rest for 14 days, new onset LBLP (distal to gluteal crease).
Exclusion: spinal surgery, pregnancy, severe comorbidity, contraindication to MRI.
n: 274
(Female: n = 139, Male: n = 135)
Mean (SD) age: 46 (Nil reported)
History and Physical examination MRI
Walsh et al., 2009 [14]
Cross-sectional observational study LBLP Inclusion: unilateral LBLP, 18–70 age, speaks English.
Exclusion: absence of unilateral LBLP, serious pathology, spinal surgery or neurological disease, unbale to tolerate testing positions.
n: 45
(Female: n = 23, Male n = 22)
Mean (SD) age: 46 (11)
Nerve palpation SLR + slump
  1. *n number, *SD standard deviation, *MRI Magnetic resonance imaging, *CLBP Chronic low back pain, *S-DN4 Self-completed douleur neuropathique 4, *S-LANSS Self-completed Leeds Assessment of neuropathic Symptoms and Signs, *SQST standardised qualitative sensory testing, *HE Hyperextension, *StEP Standardized Evaluation of Pain