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Papers of the Week

Papers: 17 Dec 2022 - 23 Dec 2022

2022 Dec 22

Scand J Gastroenterol

Mechanisms behind diffuse idiopathic peripheral neuropathy in humans – a systematic review.


Tufvesson H, Hamrefors V, Ohlsson B
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2022 Dec 22:1-11.
PMID: 36546668.


Diffuse peripheral neuropathy is a well-known complication of several conditions, whereas many patients have peripheral neuropathy of unknown etiology and pathophyisology. Increased knowledge of mechanisms may provide insight into enteric neuropathy with gastrointestinal dysmotility. The aim of the present systematic review was to identify mechanisms behind diffuse idiopathic peripheral neuropathies in humans. Searches were performed in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science. Human original and review articles, written in English, describing mechanisms behind diffuse peripheral neuropathy verified by objective examinations were intended to be studied. Articles that described animal models, well-described hereditary diseases, drug-induced neuropathy, pain syndromes, malnutrition, and local neuropathy were excluded. In total, 4712 articles were identified. After scrutinizing titles and abstracts, 633 remained and were studied in full text. After the removal of articles not fulfilling inclusion or exclusion criteria, 52 were finally included in this review. The most frequently described neuropathy was diabetic neuropathy, with a wide range of mechanisms involving mitochondrial dysfunction such as oxidative stress and inflammation. Microvascular changes in diabetes and vasculitis lead to ischemia and secondary oxidative stress with inflammation. Structural changes in neurons and glial cells are observed, with abnormalities in different neurotrophic factors. Neuropathy induced by autoantibodies or immunological mechanisms is described in infectious and systemic inflammatory diseases. Several ion channels may be involved in painful neuropathy. No study identified why some patients mainly develop large fiber neuropathy and others small fiber neuropathy. Metabolic and immunological factors and channelopathy may be considered in diffuse idiopathic peripheral neuropathy.