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Complications following sural and peroneal nerve biopsies
  1. David A Hilton1,
  2. John Jacob2,
  3. Liz Househam2,
  4. Connie Tengah3
  1. 1
    Department of Histopathology, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK
  2. 2
    Department of Neurology, Department of Histopathology, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK
  3. 3
    Department of Neurology, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
  1. Dr David Hilton, Department of Histopathology, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK; david.hilton{at}


Nerve biopsy is used as part of the investigation of patients with peripheral neuropathy and is particularly useful in confirming the diagnosis of peripheral nerve vasculitis. Previous studies have suggested that sampling the peroneal nerve, in combination with peroneus brevis, is more sensitive than the sural nerve for this diagnosis but there are no published data on the complication rate of peroneal nerve biopsies. We have assessed the complications in 50 patients undergoing nerve biopsy, and have shown that although biopsy of the peroneal nerve may result in a larger area of sensory loss in some patients, other complications are not increased when compared with sural nerve biopsy.

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  • Competing interests: None.