Testing the validity of a set of diagnostic criteria for sensory neuronopathies: a francophone collaborative study

J Neurol. 2014 Nov;261(11):2093-100. doi: 10.1007/s00415-014-7423-7. Epub 2014 Aug 10.


There are no validated criteria for the diagnosis of sensory neuronopathy (SNN) yet. In a preliminary monocenter study a set of criteria relying on clinical and electrophysiological data showed good sensitivity and specificity for a diagnosis of probable SNN. The aim of this study was to test these criteria on a French multicenter study. 210 patients with sensory neuropathies from 15 francophone reference centers for neuromuscular diseases were included in the study with an expert diagnosis of non-SNN, SNN or suspected SNN according to the investigations performed in these centers. Diagnosis was obtained independently from the set of criteria to be tested. The expert diagnosis was taken as the reference against which the proposed SNN criteria were tested. The set relied on clinical and electrophysiological data easily obtainable with routine investigations. 9/61 (16.4 %) of non-SNN patients, 23/36 (63.9 %) of suspected SNN, and 102/113 (90.3 %) of SNN patients according to the expert diagnosis were classified as SNN by the criteria. The SNN criteria tested against the expert diagnosis in the SNN and non-SNN groups had 90.3 % (102/113) sensitivity, 85.2 % (52/61) specificity, 91.9 % (102/111) positive predictive value, and 82.5 % (52/63) negative predictive value. Discordance between the expert diagnosis and the SNN criteria occurred in 20 cases. After analysis of these cases, 11 could be reallocated to a correct diagnosis in accordance with the SNN criteria. The proposed criteria may be useful for the diagnosis of probable SNN in patients with sensory neuropathy. They can be reached with simple clinical and paraclinical investigations.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Electrodiagnosis / methods
  • Electrodiagnosis / standards*
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Electromyography / standards
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuralgia / diagnosis*
  • Neuralgia / epidemiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results