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September 1976

Clinical vs Quantitative Evaluation of Cutaneous Sensation

Author Affiliations

From the departments of neurology (Drs Dyck and Stevens) and medical statistics and epidemiology (Dr O'Brien), and the Peripheral Nerve Laboratory (Ms Oviatt and Schilling and Mr Bushek), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn.

Arch Neurol. 1976;33(9):651-655. doi:10.1001/archneur.1976.00500090057011

• A comparison of the evaluation of cutaneous sensation by neurologic examination and by quantitative assessment in 107 patients with various neuromuscular disease has shown that there is a reasonably good correlation between the recognition of abnormalities of cutaneous sensation by clinical and by quantitative methods. Clinical neurologists tend to underestimate abnormalities of touchpressure sensation. The quantitative evaluation of cutaneous sensation is useful in quality control of the clinical examination, in correlating the nature of sensation loss with the compound action potential and morphometry of biopsied nerve, in providing a score of sensation to follow the course and the effect of treatment protocols, and in monitoring for an adverse effect on sensation by an environmental or industrial poison. There is a good correlation between abnormality of touchpressure sensation and loss of large myelinated fibers of sural nerve in neuropathy.

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