Distal small fiber neuropathy: Results of tests of sweating and autonomic cardiovascular reflexes



The purpose of this study was to evaluate sweating and cardiovascular autonomic function in patients with distal small fiber neuropathy (DSFN). Sweat testing by the quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test was abnormal in 32 of 40 (80%) patients. The thermoregulatory sweat test was abnormal in 18 of 25 (72%) patients; one or both tests were abnormal in 36 of 40 (90%). Minor heart rate abnormalities were present in 11 of 40 (28%) patients. We conclude that, in patients with DSFN: (a) the sympathetic sudomotor fibers are frequently affected, and that evaluation of sweating is a useful diagnostic test; (b) that the autonomic nerves controlling heart rate are less affected.