Background: Vasculitis is not usually considered as a cause of symmetric sensory neuropathy.
Objective and methods: To present the clinical, pathologic, and electrophysiologic features of 17 (16%) cases of sensory neuropathy in vasculitis (SNV) among 106 cases with histologically proven vasculitic neuropathy that were collected over the last 30 years.
Results: In 41% of cases, SNV was found as systemic vasculitic neuropathy in association with primary vasculitic disease. The most common clinical presentation was symmetric polyneuropathy, seen in 53% of cases. The most common nerve conduction pattern was diffuse neuropathy pattern of axonal degeneration. Sural nerve biopsy was diagnostic in 88% of cases. In two cases, muscle biopsy was necessary for the definite diagnosis of vasculitis. Non-systemic SNV is usually benign. Of 11 patients followed for longer than 2 years, none developed motor weakness due to neuropathy.
Conclusion: Sensory neuropathy, regardless of symmetry, can be due to vasculitis.