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February 15, 1985

Diagnosis of Meralgia Paresthetica

Author Affiliations

Community-General Hospital Syracuse, NY

JAMA. 1985;253(7):976. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350310058008

To the Editor.—  Meralgia paresthetica (MP) is a disorder of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, the sensory nerve of the anterolateral aspect of the thigh. The symptoms are intermittent numbness, tingling, pain, and/or a burning sensation, often worse when standing or walking.Diagnosis utilizing contact chromothermography was recently reported in a case of MP.1 My experience with this technique in 14 such cases yielded the following results in the affected region: six were isothermic (temperature equal to that of surrounding skin and of the opposite thigh), five were hypothermic (cool), and three were hyperthermic (warm). There was no correlation with either duration of symptoms or intensity of sensory impairment.Forty-six years ago, Dr Woltman and I2 reported that "appreciation of touch, pain and temperature was diminished in 68 per cent of 150 cases." Since then, in about 200 cases of MP, I have usually found the following sensory