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Expanded teased nerve fibre pathological conditions in disease association
  1. Min Xu1,2,
  2. Marcus Pinto1,
  3. Chenjing Sun1,3,
  4. Janean K Engelstad1,
  5. P James Dyck1,
  6. Peter J Dyck1,
  7. Christopher J Klein1,4
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2 Department of Neurology, Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  3. 3 Navy Teaching Hospital, Beijing, China
  4. 4 Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  1. Correspondence to Christopher J Klein, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; klein.christopher{at}


Objective To describe an expanded teased nerve fibre classification in disease association.

Methods We reviewed four newly proposed teased nerve fibre types (Types J–M): Type J, rope-like fibres; K, fibril-like clumps of osmium positivity; L, cellular debris along and within nerve fibres; M, circular axonal inclusions surrounded by thin myelin. Different clinical pathological entities were studied for these fibre types including chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP: N=20); amyloid polyneuropathy (N=20); intraneural B-cell lymphoma (N=20) or adult-onset polyglucosan body disease (APBD: N=6) in comparison with 112 disease controls. Student’s t-test was used to test significance of association between the identified fibre types and the specific clinical diagnosis.

Results Each fibre type significantly associated (p<0.001) with particular disease categories: Type J, 60% of CIDP cases; Type K, 75% of amyloid cases; Type L, 75% of intraneural lymphoma cases; Type M, 100% of APBD cases. Rarely were these fibres found in the other disease control cases ≤3% of cases. In three cases, the teased fibre findings were so striking additional paraffin nerve preparations were made to make the pathological diagnosis when initial paraffin sections were non-diagnostic.

Conclusions Teased nerve fibre Types J–M associate with commonly seen pathological diagnosis and are helpful in the consideration of specific neuropathy diagnoses.

  • teased fibre
  • biopsy
  • peripheral neuropathy

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  • MX and MP contributed equally.

  • Contributors MX, MP, CS, JKE, PJamD, PetJD and CJK were involved in acquisition and interpretation of data. MX and CJK drafted the manuscript and MP, CS, JKE, PJamD and PetJD provided revisions and edits. JKE prepared the images and edited the captions.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data statement We submit an additional image of leprosy case with specific fibre types.

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