General Approach to Peripheral Nerve Disorders

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Abstract

Purpose of Review: This article provides a conceptual framework for the evaluation of patients with suspected polyneuropathy to enhance the clinician’s ability to localize and confirm peripheral nervous system pathology and, when possible, identify an etiologic diagnosis through use of rational clinical and judicious testing strategies.

Recent Findings: Although these strategies are largely time-honored, recent insights pertaining to the pathophysiology of certain immune-mediated neuropathies and to evolving genetic testing strategies may modify the way that select causes of neuropathy are conceptualized, evaluated, and managed.

Summary: The strategies suggested in this article are intended to facilitate accurate bedside diagnosis in patients with suspected polyneuropathy and allow efficient and judicious use of supplementary testing and application of rational treatment when indicated.

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