Nerve Thickening

Nerve Thickening

The characterization of a peripheral neuropathy should always include examination to see if any nerves are thickened. Good places to feel for nerve thickening include the elbow (ulnar nerve), anatomical snuff box (superficial radial nerves), and head of the fibula (common peroneal nerve).
Nerve thickening may be noted in a variety of conditions, in some by examination, in others using imaging techniques:

Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies (HMSN), especially types I, III, and IV (Refsum’s disease)
Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNLPP)/tomaculous neuropathy
Neurofibromatosis Sarcoidosis
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy/ophthalmoplegic migraine
Nerve tumors (localized)
Amyloidosis (familial amyloid polyneuropathy, primary systemic amyloidosis): rare.



Donaghy M. Enlarged peripheral nerves. Practical Neurology 2003; 3: 40-45
Duggins AJ, McLeod JG, Pollard JD, Davies L, Yang F, Thompson EO, Soper JR. Spinal root and plexus hypertrophy in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. Brain 1999; 122: 1383-1390


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