Morphological abnormalities in the sural nerve from patients with peripheral vascular disease
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Peripheral Vascular Diseases
The present paper has been written in order to determine the morphological alterations in the sural nerve from patients with chronic arteriosclerotic occlusive disease. Eight patients with Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) and six age-matched control subjects were studied. Morphometric data revealed two groups of patients, one of them with mild disease (n = 5), and the other one with severe damage (n = 3), consisting in loss of myelinated fibres and increase in the number of small fibres (p less than 0.05). Teased nerve fibres and electron microscopic studies also showed two types of patients, with respect to the myelin or the axonal alterations. The unmyelinated fibre population was affected equally in both groups. In conclusion, this study supports the idea that ischemia is able to cause structural alterations in the peripheral nerve, and that it can play a role in the development of neuropathy.