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Diagnostic Yield of Sural Nerve Biopsy: Study from a Tertiary Care Referral Centre in India

Background: Peripheral neuropathies are a heterogeneous group of disorders with varying etiologies. A systematic approach is required for patient evaluation for cost effective diagnosis. Aims: Present study conducted at a tertiary care referral centre aimed to evaluate the clinical profile and usefulness of sural nerve biopsy.

Material and method: The study was conducted on 75 patients attending the neurology outpatient department/those admitted in the wards. All patients were subjected to a detailed clinical, neurological and necessary biochemical investigations. Those patients with an inconclusive result were subjected to a sural nerve biopsy with the results being interpreted as diagnostic, contributory or noncontributory.

Results: Out of the 75 patients enrolled 36 underwent nerve biopsy. Amongst those 18 turned out to have Hansen’s disease, 8 vasculiis, 2 CIDP, 1 diabetes and 7 patients remained undiagnosed. Overall in 15 cases the biopsy was diagnostic, in 14 cases it was contributory, while in 7 cases it was noncontributory. Nerve biopsy proved more beneficial in patients with a multiple mononeuropathy pattern (p<0.003). Overall in about 80% of patients nerve biopsy proved to be worthwhile

Conclusion: Nerve biopsy has a good diagnostic yield if done in properly selected cases. This is especially so for the asymmetrical neuropathies particularly infectious causes like leprosy and vasculitis.


SP Patidar, Deepika Joshi, Mishra VN, Chaurasia RN Ansari AZ and Niraj Kumar

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