An update on nerve biopsy. - Université de Limoges Accéder directement au contenu
Article Dans Une Revue Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology Année : 2009

An update on nerve biopsy.


Indications for nerve biopsy have decreased during the last 20 years. For the most part, this is a result of progress in the application of molecular biologic diagnostic testing for genetic peripheral neuropathies (PNs) and the increasing use of skin biopsy. The latter is primarily used to evaluate small-fiber PN, although it rarely discloses the specific etiology of a PN. Nerve biopsies are usually performed on either the sural or the superficial peroneal nerve, the latter in combination with removal of portions of the peroneus brevis muscle. The definite diagnosis of vasculitic lesions can be readily established on small paraffin-embedded nerve biopsy samples, although in some cases, the characteristic lesions are only apparent in muscle specimens. Other nerve specimens are routinely fixed in buffered glutaraldehyde and prepared for semithin sections and electron microscopy; frozen specimens are used for immunofluorescence studies. Electron microscopy is of great value in some cases of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathies, monoclonal gammopathy, and storage diseases. Because more than 30 genes may be involved in genetic PNs, analysis of nerve lesions can direct the search for mutations in specific genes. Electron microscopy immunocytochemistry is mandatory in some cases of monoclonal dysglobulinemia. Thus, nerve biopsy is still of value in specific circumstances when it is performed by trained physicians and examined in a laboratory with expertise in nerve pathology.

Dates et versions

hal-00627982 , version 1 (30-09-2011)



Jean-Michel Vallat, Anne Vital, Laurent Magy, Marie-Laure Martin-Négrier, Claude Vital. An update on nerve biopsy.. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 2009, 68 (8), pp.833-44. ⟨10.1097/NEN.0b013e3181af2b9c⟩. ⟨hal-00627982⟩
37 Consultations
0 Téléchargements



Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More