Anatomic Classification of Peripheral Nervous System Disorders

Steven Herskovitz

in Peripheral Neuropathies in Clinical Practice

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780195183269
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199322947 | DOI:


Anatomic Classification of Peripheral Nervous System Disorders

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The authors endorse an anatomic classification of disorders of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) based on whether the condition is characterized by generalized symmetrical or focal/multifocal involvement. This simple classification stresses the site of apparent primary pathologic change and does not suggest the patholophysiologic mechanism. For example, although demyelination is a feature of uremic neuropathy, it is clearly secondary to changes in the axon, and uremic neuropathy is considered an axonopathy. This classification generally lends itself to clinical-pathologic and electrodiagnostic correlation; it is especially useful when initially evaluating a patient with a peripheral nerve disorder. Exceptions occur: vasculitic and demyelinating neuropathies may eventuate in distal symmetric patterns of dysfunction, and toxic axonopathies and neuronopathies may vary in pattern and tempo, depending on the dose of medication and the rate of administration.1,2

Chapter.  5289 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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