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Clin Auton Res. 2017 Sep 26. doi: 10.1007/s10286-017-0467-x. [Epub ahead of print]

Electrochemical skin conductance: a systematic review.

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Autonomic Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 1153 Centre Street, Boston, MA, 02103, USA.



Currently available techniques for the evaluation of small fiber neuropathy and related sudomotor function remain suboptimal. Electrochemical skin conductance (ESC) has recently been introduced as a simple noninvasive and fast method for the detection of sudomotor dysfunction. The purpose of this review is to synthesize and appraise research using ESC measurements for sudomotor evaluation in adults.


Electronic databases including MEDLINE and Google Scholar were searched (up to March 13, 2017). The search strategy included the following terms: "electrochemical skin conductance," "Sudoscan," and "EZSCAN." Evidence was graded according to defined quality indicators including (1) level of evidence; (2) use of established tests as reference tests (e.g., quantitative sudomotor axon test [QSART], sympathetic skin responses [SSR], thermoregulatory sweat test [TST], and skin biopsies to assess sudomotor and epidermal small fibers); (3) use of consecutive/non-consecutive subjects; and (4) study design (prospective/retrospective).


A total of 24 studies met the inclusion criteria. These were classified into preclinical, normative, comparative/diagnostic, or interventional. ESC measurement properties, diagnostic accuracy, and similarities to and differences from established tests were examined.


ESC measurements expand the arsenal of available tests for the evaluation of sudomotor dysfunction. The advantages and disadvantages of ESC versus established tests for evaluating sudomotor/small fiber function reviewed herein should be used as evidence to inform future guidelines on the assessment of sudomotor function.


Autonomic; Dysautonomia; ESC; Electrochemical skin conductance; Small fiber neuropathy; Sudoscan


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