Examination and clinical care of the patient with neuropathy.

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Examination and clinical care of the patient with neuropathy.

Handb Clin Neurol. 2013;115:235-44

Authors: Said G

Examination of a patient with peripheral neuropathy starts with careful questioning of the patient about the history of symptoms and signs and of a possible familial disorder. Several steps are required during examination of the patient with peripheral neuropathy: first the pattern of neuropathy and site of lesions should be determined: roots, nerve trunks, focal, multifocal, length-dependent generalized polyneuropathy, the type of nerve fibers predominantly affected, the association with trophic changes and autonomic dysfunction, the course of the disease ranging from acute inflammatory polyneuritis or fulminant multifocal neuropathy to an extremely slow progression as in Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndromes. At the end of this first contact with the patient, the neurologist must decide which investigations seem necessary and their timing including electrophysiological tests, imaging, CSF examination, blood tests, nerve and muscle biopsy, DNA testing, etc. In some cases, life-threatening manifestations, including weakness of respiratory muscles or swallowing difficulty, or autonomic dysfunction, require urgent therapeutic decisions.

PMID: 23931783 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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