Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 339-344

Peripheral neuropathy and the role of nerve biopsy: A revisit

1 Department of Pathology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Neurology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sujata Chaturvedi
Department of Pathology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Dilshad Garden, New Delhi - 110 095
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPM.IJPM_402_17

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Background: Nerve biopsy has been widely used to investigate patients with peripheral neuropathy and in many centers, it is still a part of the diagnostic armamentarium. In this study, the histopathological spectrum of the nerve biopsies received is being revisited to analyze the various clinical and pathologic features and also to assess their relevance. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of the data retrieved was done for 74 cases of nerve biopsies. Results: On the basis of the data and histopathological features, broad diagnoses were obtained in 52 cases and further categorized into biopsies being supportive for patient management (including acute and chronic axonopathies and demyelinating neuropathies) and biopsies considered essential for patient management (including vasculitic neuropathies, leprous neuropathies, hereditary neuropathies, and chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathies). Nine nerve biopsies did not show any abnormal histopathological features, while 13 nerve biopsies were found to be inadequate for diagnosis, both these groups were categorized as noncontributory. Conclusion: With advanced nerve conduction studies available, nerve biopsy is losing its relevance. However, in our experience, nerve biopsy did complement the clinical findings and nerve conduction studies, with which a close correlation is required to make the histopathology of nerve biopsy more relevant in terms of guiding further specific workup and management.

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