Sensory neuropathy usually impairs tactile sensations related to large myelinated afferents (Abeta) as well as thermal-pain sense related to small myelinated (Adelta) and unmyelinated (C) afferents. By selectively affecting large or small fibres, some sensory neuropathies may also provoke a dissociated sensory loss. Standard nerve conduction studies and somatosensory evoked potentials assess Abeta-fibre function only. Laser pulses selectively excite free nerve endings in the superficial skin layers and evoke Adelta-related brain potentials (LEPs). From earlier studies and new cases we collected data on 270 patients with sensory neuropathy. LEPs often disclosed subclinical dysfunction of Adelta fibres and proved a sensitive and reliable diagnostic tool for assessing small-fibre function in sensory neuropathy.