Axonal degeneration with unusual lesions of the myelin in an occupational neuropathy

Ultrastruct Pathol. Jul-Aug 2006;30(4):261-6. doi: 10.1080/01913120600820278.


A 35-year-old man had prolonged occupational exposure to lead carboxylate, triethylbenzene, xylene, and dichloromethane, when he developed a subacute predominantly sensory neuropathy. Ultrastructural examination of a peripheral nerve biopsy showed axonal degeneration and unusual lesions of the myelin, with Schwann cell sequestration of vesicular and lamellar debris. Biochemical analysis of lead in a frozen peripheral nerve specimen revealed no significant difference between the propositus and a control. The authors were unable to find any similar peripheral nerve lesions in the literature dealing with neurotoxic chemicals. Any of the several organic solvents could have equally caused the neuropathy and may have been potentialized by the other chemicals.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Axons / ultrastructure*
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Myelin Sheath / ultrastructure*
  • Nerve Degeneration / chemically induced
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology*
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Neurotoxins / adverse effects
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / pathology*


  • Neurotoxins