Sudomotor Dysfunction

Semin Neurol. 2020 Oct;40(5):560-568. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1713847. Epub 2020 Sep 9.


Disorders of sudomotor function are common and diverse in their presentations. Hyperhidrosis or hypohidrosis in generalized or regional neuroanatomical patterns can provide clues to neurologic localization and inform neurologic diagnosis. Conditions that impair sudomotor function include small fiber peripheral neuropathy, sudomotor neuropathy, myelopathy, α-synucleinopathies, autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy, antibody-mediated hyperexcitability syndromes, and a host of medications. Particularly relevant to neurologic practice is the detection of postganglionic sudomotor deficits as a diagnostic marker of small fiber neuropathies. Extensive anhidrosis is important to recognize, as it not only correlates with symptoms of heat intolerance but may also place the patient at risk for heat stroke when under conditions of heat stress. Methods for assessing sudomotor dysfunction include the thermoregulatory sweat test, the quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test, silicone impressions, and the sympathetic skin response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases* / etiology
  • Body Temperature Regulation* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis* / diagnosis
  • Hyperhidrosis* / etiology
  • Hypohidrosis* / diagnosis
  • Hypohidrosis* / etiology
  • Small Fiber Neuropathy* / complications
  • Small Fiber Neuropathy* / diagnosis