Quantitative sudomotor test helps differentiate transthyretin familial amyloid polyneuropathy from chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

Clin Neurophysiol. 2020 May;131(5):1129-1133. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2020.01.022. Epub 2020 Feb 21.


Objective: Transthyretin familial amyloid polyneuropathy (TTR-FAP) is an aggressive hereditary neuropathy characterized by sensory and autonomic dysfunction. There are numerous reports of TTR-FAP misdiagnosed and treated as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), leading to delayed diagnosis, risk of iatrogenic adverse events and increased socio-economic costs. Quantitative sudomotor function measured by electrochemical skin conductance (ESC) appears to be a sensitive test in TTR-FAP. We aimed to evaluate the performance of ESC in differentiating TTR-FAP from CIDP.

Methods: Thirty-eight patients with genetically confirmed hereditary TTR amyloidosis and 26 with definite CIDP according to the EFNS/PNS guidelines and negative TTR-FAP genetic testing were involved in this study. We compared the ESC for feet and hands measured by Sudoscan for each patient.

Results: ESC (µS) was significantly lower in TTR-FAP for both hands (72 vs 45, p < 0.0001) and feet (77 vs 35, p < 0.0001). Feet ESC < 64 µS had a 89% sensitivity and a 96% specificity to differentiate between CIDP and TTR-FAP.

Conclusion: Sudoscan is a fast, non-invasive and easy to perform test, able to distinguish CIDP and TTR-FAP patients with good sensitivity and specificity.

Significance: Sudoscan can be helpful in distinguishing between CIDP and TTR-FAP.

Keywords: Amyloidosis; Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy; Diagnosis; Electrochemical skin conductance; Sudoscan; Transthyretin familial amyloid polyneuropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / diagnosis*
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrodiagnosis / methods*
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / diagnosis*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / physiopathology*

Supplementary concepts

  • Amyloidosis, Hereditary, Transthyretin-Related