Histopathology and high-resolution ultrasound imaging for peripheral nerve (injuries)

Ricci V., Ricci C., Cocco G., Gervasoni F., Donati D., Fari G., ...More

JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY, vol.269, no.7, pp.3663-3675, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 269 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00415-022-10988-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.3663-3675
  • Keywords: Neuropathy, Histology, Ultrasonography, Edema, Qualitative assessment, SCHWANN-CELLS, FASCICLES, PATTERN, CIDP
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background Neuropathies are commonplace in clinical practice and ultrasound assessment of the peripheral nerves is increasingly becoming a valuable diagnostic tool to support the physical and electrophysiological examinations. In the pertinent literature, several sonographic approaches have been proposed to evaluate the peripheral nerve tissue-mainly based on (semi)-quantitative measures. Objective To define a standardized sonographic approach aiming to evaluate the different sono-histological sections of the peripheral nerve also in a qualitative way. Methods Using high-frequency ultrasound probes and high-level ultrasound machines, we matched the histopathological features of the peripheral nerve (in acute and chronic phase) and the different sonographic patterns. Moreover, high-sensitive power Doppler assessments have been performed to assess the microcirculation of the peripheral nerve in physiological and pathological conditions. Results Modern ultrasound equipment allows a "real-time dissection" of the peripheral nerve evaluating the sonographic patterns of its different histological compartments in physiological and pathological conditions. Moreover, high-sensitive power Doppler allows clear visualization of the microcirculation of the peripheral nerve both in the acute and chronic phases of the neuropathy. Conclusion In clinical practice, using adequate technological equipment, (semi)-quantitative measurements of the peripheral nerve can be coupled with different sonographic patterns of its histological components-both in the acute and chronic phase of the peripheral neuropathy. This way, better/prompt diagnosis and optimal management of the patients would be possible.