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Keywords:

  • HNPP;
  • PMP22;
  • mononeuropathy;
  • plexopathy;
  • hereditary neuropathy

Abstract

Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by recurrent mononeuropathies or brachial plexopathies, commonly associated with a chromosome 17p11.2-12 deletion encompassing the peripheral myelin protein-22 (PMP22) gene. We tried to identify criteria distinguishing HNPP among patients with acute painless mononeuropathy/plexopathy. We investigated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis the presence of the deletion in 27 patients with isolated or recurrent acute painless mononeuropathy or brachial plexopathy, and no obvious cause of neuropathy. Eight patients carried the deletion, whereas 19 had neither the deletion nor mutations in the PMP22 gene. Age at onset, presenting modality, precipitating events, and rate of recovery did not significantly differ in the two groups. Family history was informative for HNPP diagnosis in 3 cases only. HNPP patients more often showed recurrent episodes, brachial plexopathy, and clinical or electrophysiologic involvement of other nerves. Non-HNPP patients more frequently had peroneal palsy, recent weight loss, and normal electrophysiologic examination in other nerves. Signs of generalized neuropathy and evidence of disease in other family member are often subtle in HNPP and must be thoroughly investigated in patients with acute painless mononeuropathy/plexopathy. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Muscle Nerve 21: 1686–1691, 1998.