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Keywords:

  • healthy elderly;
  • IENFD;
  • normative values;
  • QSART;
  • SNAP;
  • sural nerve

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Polyneuropathy evaluation in older patients is often challenging due to conflicting data regarding normative values for peripheral nerve testing. Methods: We characterized the results of sural nerve conduction studies, intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD), and quantitative sudomotor axon reflex testing (QSART) in a prospective study of 50 healthy subjects aged ≥60 years. Results: Of the 50 subjects, 48 (96%) had an obtainable sural sensory nerve action potential (SNAP). Using quantile regression, we estimated the lower limit of normal (LLN) for sural amplitudes to be 3 μV for patients 60–70 years, 1 μV for those 70–74 years, and <1 μV (absent) for those ≥75 years of age. IENFD and QSART volume were reduced with advancing age, although IENFD was lower in men and QSART volume was lower in women. Conclusions: We propose that an absent sural SNAP in patients up to 75 years of age should be considered abnormal. Our findings also support age- and gender-stratified normative data for IENFD and QSART. Muscle Nerve 49:564–569, 2014