Neuropathy differential diagnosis and etiology

Seperating  neuropathies into mononeuropathies and polyneuropathies is helpful in narrowing down the diagnositic possiblities of underlying cause.

Clinical presentation may not always for classification. For example, polyneuritis of chronic alcoholism may present identically to that as a result of diabetes, arteriosclerosis or carcinoma.

Etiology of common mononeuropathies:

  1. Compression and ischemia – eg. of a nerve due to hernia or trauma
  2. vascular disease such as polyarteritis nodusa (progressive disease of connective tissue that is characterized by nodules along arteries)
  3. Metabolic disease – eg diabetes
  4. Infection – eg.herpes zoster or post-infectious or post-vaccinal reactions
  5. Neoplasm – eg. neurofibroma
  6. Toxins – eg. heavy metals

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