Practice Parameter: The Evaluation of Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy: The Role of Autonomic Testing, Nerve Biopsy, and Skin Biopsy (An Evidence-Based Review). Report of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Autonomic Nervous System
1. Autonomic testing may be considered in the evaluation of patients with polyneuropathy to document autonomic nervous system dysfunction (Level B). Such testing should be considered especially for the evaluation of suspected autonomic neuropathy (Level B) and distal small fiber sensory polyneuropathy (SFSN) (Level C). A battery of validated tests is recommended to achieve the highest diagnostic accuracy (Level B). 2. Nerve biopsy is generally accepted as useful in the evaluation of certain neuropathies as in patients with suspected amyloid neuropathy, mononeuropathy multiplex due to vasculitis, or with atypical forms of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). However, the literature is insufficient to provide a recommendation regarding when a nerve biopsy may be useful in the evaluation of DSP (Level U). 3. Skin biopsy is a validated technique for determining intraepidermal nerve fiber (IENF) density and may be considered for the diagnosis of DSP, particularly SFSN (Level C). There is a need for additional prospective studies to define more exact guidelines for the evaluation of polyneuropathy.