Vol 54, No 5 (2020)
Research Paper
Published online: 2020-09-17

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Clinical and neurophysiological spectrum of polyneuropathies in children

Elina Millere12, Laura Gribuste1, Inese Kazaine2, Jurgis Strautmanis12, Linda Gailite1, Viktorija Kenina123
Pubmed: 32939748
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2020;54(5):466-470.


Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves and results from a disturbance of structure and/or function of the peripheral sensory, motor and/or autonomic neurons. The possible aetiology of peripheral neuropathies is diverse, but inflammatory and hereditary diseases of the peripheral nerves predominate in childhood. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical and electrophysiological profile of large nerve fibre neuropathy detected by nerve conduction studies (NCS) in children over a 10-year period at the Children’s Clinical University Hospital in Latvia. Based on NCS findings, 165 children between 2008 and 2018 were diagnosed with polyneuropathy. In our study, the majority of children had peripheral neuropathy due to acquired causes, mostly due to diabetes mellitus; roughly one in five of the patients had hereditary neuropathy. Almost half of the patients had motor deficits, which were more prevalent in toxic and inflammatory neuropathies. A little less than a third of patients complained of pain as well as presenting with autonomic dysfunction symptoms. The NCS demonstrated a demyelinating neuropathy in 52 cases (31%), an axonal neuropathy in 34 cases (21%), and mixed polyneuropathy in 79 cases (48%). Our study investigated the clinical and electrophysiological characteristics of polyneuropathies diagnosed with NCS in children. Most of the polyneuropathies in our study were hereditary and diabetic neuropathies with combined (myelin and axon) damage to nerve fibres. Almost all clinical symptoms of polyneuropathy were present in all aetiological groups.

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