Overview of polyneuropathy
- Seward B Rutkove, MD
Seward B Rutkove, MD
- Professor of Neurology
- Harvard Medical School
This topic will review a general approach to polyneuropathy. Specific polyneuropathies are discussed in more detail separately.
The terms "polyneuropathy," "peripheral neuropathy," and "neuropathy" are frequently used interchangeably, but are distinct.
●Polyneuropathy is a specific term that refers to a generalized, relatively homogeneous process affecting many peripheral nerves, with the distal nerves usually affected most prominently.
●Peripheral neuropathy is a less precise term that is frequently used synonymously with polyneuropathy, but can also refer to any disorder of the peripheral nervous system including radiculopathies and mononeuropathies.
●Neuropathy, which again is frequently used synonymously with peripheral neuropathy and/or polyneuropathy, can refer even more generally to disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system.To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- ETIOLOGY AND PATHOGENESIS
- Other systemic
- CLINICAL PRESENTATION
- Physical examination
- Clinical course
- DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATION
- Features warranting a full evaluation
- Diagnosis of polyneuropathy
- Electrodiagnostic testing
- IDENTIFYING THE ETIOLOGY
- EMG with axonal physiology
- EMG with demyelinating physiology
- EMG with mixed axonal and demyelinating physiology
- EMG with polyradiculopathy, plexopathy, or mononeuropathy multiplex
- Normal EMG
- Nerve biopsy
- Skin biopsy
- Autonomic testing
- Quantitative sensory testing
- Treatment of the underlying process
- - Axonal polyneuropathies
- - Demyelinating polyneuropathies
- Treatment of symptoms and prevention of complications
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS