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Cesk Patol. 2012 Apr;48(2):97-9.

Peripheral neuropathy in Whipples disease: a case report.

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Department of Neurology, Thomayer Teaching Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic.


Whipples disease is a chronic multisystem inflammatory disease with predominantly gastrointestinal manifestations due to Tropheryma whipplei infection. Typical neurological abnormalities include dementia, eye movement abnormalities, hypothalamic dysfunction and oculomasticatory myorhythmias. The literature on peripheral neuropathy in Whipples disease is sparse and the involvement of peripheral nerves in Whipples disease has not been documented convincingly so far. We present a case of Whipples disease presenting by axonal peripheral neuropathy without gastrointestinal involvement. The diagnosis was confirmed by a sural nerve biopsy and consequent PCR of the sample. All clinical signs disappeared progressively during the antibiotic therapy. Two years after the T. whipplei infection, the patient developed dopa-sensitive Parkinson's disease, although these two events seem to be unrelated. This case illustrates the value of peripheral nerve biopsy in cases of axonal neuropathy of unexplained origin and extends the clinical spectrum of Whipples disease to a new modality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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