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Acta Neurol Scand. 1989 Mar;79(3):243-5.

The yield of sural nerve biopsy in the evaluation of peripheral neuropathies.

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Department of Neurology, Haddasah University Hospitals, Jerusalem, Israel.


The diagnostic yield of sural nerve biopsy was evaluated in 120 peripheral neuropathy patients. In 58 (48%) a final diagnosis was reached without biopsy, while 14 (11.5%) remained undiagnosed. Nerve biopsy contributed to the final diagnosis in 20 of the 53 biopsies (38%). In patients with motor conduction velocity below 30 m/s, sural nerve histology was helpful in 65% of biopsies. In patients with milder reduction in conduction biopsy contributed in only 11%. It is concluded that in general neurological population, nerve biopsy is of limited value as a routine diagnostic procedure. However, in patients with marked slowing of conduction velocity, in whom the diagnosis is not immediately apparent, sural nerve biopsy is indicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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