What is the role of nerve biopsy in the diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Dianna Quan, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

A nerve biopsy can be obtained, typically of the sural nerve, to confirm and help diagnose the neuropathic stage (ie, mild, moderate, severe). However, this is an invasive procedure and carries the risk of producing chronic pain, numbness, and cold insensitivity in the distribution of the sural nerve. Thus, with NCV/EMG and QST available, the sural nerve biopsy is rarely needed for diagnostic purposes any longer.


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