Diagnostic usefulness and limitations of the sural nerve biopsy

Yonsei Med J. 1990 Mar;31(1):1-26. doi: 10.3349/ymj.1990.31.1.1.


In recent years, the sural nerve biopsy has become a commonly performed procedure in the diagnostic work-up of patients with peripheral neuropathy. This paper reviews the diagnostic usefulness and limitations of this procedure. Based on 385 sural nerve biopsies, we found clinically helpful or relevant information in 45% of cases. In 24% of cases, specific diagnoses were obtained, among which vasculitic neuropathy was most common.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy / methods
  • Biopsy / standards
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Histological Techniques
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / classification
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Nerves / pathology*
  • Sural Nerve / pathology*