Sural nerve biopsy in peripheral neuropathies: 30-year experience from a single center

Liverana Lauretti, Mario Sabatelli, Marco Luigetti, Angela Romano, Francesco Barbato, Francesca Madia, Paolo Maria Rossini, Giulia Bisogni, Amelia Conte, Alessandra Del Grande

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

4 Citazioni (Scopus)


Introduction: Nerve biopsy has been widely used to investigate patients with peripheral neuropathy, and in many centers, it is still a useful diagnostic tool in this setting. In this study, we reviewed the histopathological spectrum of the nerve biopsies performed in our center in a 30-year period and we analyzed their relevance in the clinical setting. Materials and methods: Retrospective analysis of the retrieved data was done for cases of nerve biopsies performed in our institute between 1988 and 2018. Surgical technique and histopathological analysis were done accordingly to standard protocol. Results: Complete clinical and pathological data were available only for 717 cases. The procedure was generally safe, with only 0.3% superimposed infection. Main pathological results were “unspecific” axonal polyneuropathy (49.8%), vasculitis neuropathy (9.3%), acquired demyelinating neuropathy (8.9%), and Charcot-Marie-Tooth (8.2%). Considering clinical-neurophysiological suspicion of vasculitis, nerve biopsy confirmed the diagnosis in 60.9% of cases. Discussion: In conclusion, for inherited neuropathies, we do not recommend this invasive procedure, but we strongly suggest a genetic test. Conversely, in vasculitic neuropathies or in dysimmune neuropathies not clearly confirmed by neurophysiological examination, nerve biopsy continues to represent a useful and irreplaceable tool.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)341-346
Numero di pagine6
RivistaNeurological Sciences
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Amyloid
  • CIDP
  • CMT
  • IgM-related neuropathy
  • Nerve biopsy
  • Neuropathy
  • Vasculitis

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