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Handb Clin Neurol. 2015;131:253-96. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-62627-1.00015-9.

Clinical description of toxic neuropathies.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
2
Department of Neurology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Electronic address: jwalbers@umich.edu.

Abstract

Toxic neuropathy, although rare, is an important consideration in the setting of a known or suspected toxic exposure in the workplace or other environment. This chapter discusses the clinical and electrodiagnostic evaluation of peripheral neuropathies, highlighting findings that direct further workup and may point to specific toxins as etiology. The difficulty of establishing causality of a toxin in relation to peripheral neuropathy is discussed; guidelines for establishing causality are presented. Examples of common industrial toxins are listed, including their typical industrial uses and their mechanisms of action in producing neuropathy. Characteristic clinical presentations of specific toxic neuropathies are highlighted with selected case studies.

KEYWORDS:

arsenic; carbon disulfide; case studies; causality; dioxin; electrodiagnosis; elemental mercury; hexacarbons; industrial; lead; organophosphorus compounds; peripheral neuropathy; porcine neural tissue; thallium; toxic neuropathy; toxin

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