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February 1980

Sensory Neuropathy Associated With Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: Histologic and Morphometric Studies

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Physiology, and Hôtel Dieu Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal.

Arch Neurol. 1980;37(2):84-87. doi:10.1001/archneur.1980.00500510042006

• Sensory symptoms can develop in the course of primary biliary cirrhosis. They have been attributed to xanthomatous infiltrates of the nerves. We report a case of a young woman suffering from pure sensory neuropathy starting at a time when evidence of liver disease was minimal. Histologic and morphometric studies of sural nerve biopsy specimens obtained from calf and ankle showed a dying-back type of axonal degeneration predominantly affecting large myelinated fibers. No lipid-containing cells were seen, which raises the possibility that other mechanisms related to primary biliary cirrhosis are involved in the pathogenesis of the neuropathy.

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