Quantitative pathology of cutaneous nerve terminal degeneration in the human skin

Hsiung-Fei Chien, T.-J. Tseng, W.-M. Lin, C.-C. Yang, Y.-C. Chang, R.-C. Chen, S.-T. Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Pathological diagnosis of neuropathy has traditionally depended on ultrastructural examinations of nerve biopsy specimens, particularly for sensory neuropathies affecting unmyelinated and small-myelinated nociceptive nerves. These sensory nerves terminate in the epidermis of the skin, and the pathology of neuropathy usually begins from nerve terminals. We investigated the feasibility of diagnosing small-fiber sensory neuropathy by evaluating cutaneous innervation. Skin biopsy specimens of 3-mm in diameter were obtained from the distal leg and the distal forearm of 55 healthy controls and 35 patients with sensory neuropathy. In the healthy controls, conventional intraepidermal nerve fiber densities (IENF densities) as measured using the image analysis system in the distal forearm and in the distal leg were correlated (r=0.55, P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidermal nerve fibers
  • Nerve degeneration
  • Neuropathy
  • Skin biopsy
  • Skin innervation
  • adult
  • aged
  • article
  • clinical article
  • controlled study
  • correlation function
  • density
  • epidermis
  • evaluation
  • eye
  • feasibility study
  • female
  • forearm
  • histopathology
  • human
  • human tissue
  • image analysis
  • leg
  • male
  • measurement
  • myelinated nerve
  • nerve biopsy
  • nerve degeneration
  • nerve ending
  • nerve fiber
  • neuropathy
  • nociceptive receptor
  • nonmyelinated nerve
  • prediction
  • priority journal
  • quantitative assay
  • sensory neuropathy
  • skin biopsy
  • skin nerve
  • tissue section
  • ultrastructure
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Cell Count
  • Epidermis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
  • Receptors, Sensory


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