Causes of chronic neuropathies: a single-center experience

Lorenzo Ricci, Marco Luigetti, Lucia Florio, Fioravante Capone, Vincenzo Di Lazzaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Chronic neuropathies are a common cause of neurological disability worldwide. However, few reports have evaluated, in real life, the prevalence of the several conditions which can cause it.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The authors reviewed informatic database for outpatient office to confirm identification of chronic neuropathy in a 3-year interval period.

RESULTS: Among the 100 selected patients with chronic neuropathies, almost one fifth (19%) remained idiopathic. The most common etiologies were diabetes (17%), dysimmune neuropathies (38%), and vitamin B12 deficiency (9%). In the "dysimmune neuropathies" group, we distinguished various etiologies, including dysimmune neuropathies associated or not with systemic autoimmune diseases (7 and 3%, respectively), chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy (CIDP) (8%), multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) (3%), paraproteinemic (8%), celiac disease-related (6%), and paraneoplastic (3%) neuropathies.

CONCLUSIONS: In this report from a single neurological center, treatable causes of chronic neuropathies, such as dysimmune neuropathies, including CIDP, and celiac disease-associated neuropathy, were common. These findings suggest the utility of routine screening with blood testing for dysimmune neuropathy and celiac disease for all patients presenting with idiopathic chronic polyneuropathy in whom primary diagnostic testings had failed to identify an etiology for the disease.

SIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicate that patients with peripheral neuropathy could receive a benefit from being evaluated routinely in a specialized neurological center, as many of the conditions that were discovered represented potentially treatable causes of neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1611-1617
Number of pages7
JournalNeurol. Sci.
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Complications/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases/complications
  • Male
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases/diagnosis
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency/complications


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