Sural nerve biopsy may predict future nerve dysfunction

S. Thrainsdottir, Rayaz Malik, I. Rosén, F. Jakobsson, E. Bakhtadze, J. Petersson, G. Sundkvist, L. B. Dahlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective - Sural nerve pathology in peripheral neuropathy shows correlation with clinical findings and neurophysiological tests. The aim was to investigate progression of nerve dysfunction over time in relation to a baseline nerve biopsy. Methods - Baseline myelinated nerve fiber density (MNFD) was assessed in sural nerve biopsies from 10 men with type 2 diabetes, 10 with impaired and 10 with normal glucose tolerance. Nerve conduction and quantitative perception thresholds were estimated at baseline and follow-up (7-10 years later). Results - Subjects with low MNFD (≤4700 fibers/mm2) showed decline of peroneal amplitude (P < 0.02) and conduction velocity (P < 0.04), as well as median nerve sensory amplitude (P < 0.05) and motor conduction velocity (P < 0.04) from baseline to follow-up. In linear regression analyses, diabetes influenced decline of nerve conduction. MNFD correlated negatively with body mass index (r = -0.469; P < 0.02). Conclusion - Low MNFD may predict progression of neurophysiological dysfunction and links obesity to myelinated nerve fiber loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Body mass index
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Nerve conduction
  • Quantitative sensory thresholds
  • Sural nerve pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

Cite this

Thrainsdottir, S., Malik, R., Rosén, I., Jakobsson, F., Bakhtadze, E., Petersson, J., Sundkvist, G., & Dahlin, L. B. (2009). Sural nerve biopsy may predict future nerve dysfunction. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 120(1), 38-46.