Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Inflammation causes some postsurgical neuropathies

Date:
September 22, 2010
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
A new study found that nerve inflammation may cause the pain, numbness and weakness following surgical procedures that is known as post-surgical neuropathy.

A new Mayo Clinic study found that nerve inflammation may cause the pain, numbness and weakness following surgical procedures that is known as postsurgical neuropathy. The development of postsurgical neuropathies is typically attributed to compression or stretching of nerves during surgery. This new research shows that, in some cases, the neuropathy is actually caused by the immune system attacking the nerves and is potentially treatable with immunosuppressive drugs.

Related Articles


The study was published in this month's issue of Brain.

Postsurgical neuropathy is an uncommon complication of surgery. Peripheral nerves are the extensive network of nerves that link the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to all other parts of the body. When damaged by stretching, compression or inflammation, the peripheral nerve injury can interfere with communication between the brain and the rest of the body (muscles and sensation are controlled by the nerve). Individuals with postsurgical neuropathy may experience loss of sensation, pain and muscles weakness.

"It is important that a person with postsurgical inflammatory neuropathy receive a diagnosis and treatment quickly. Understanding the role of inflammation in these patients' neuropathy can lead to appropriate immunotherapy and improvement of neurological symptoms and impairments," says P. James Dyck, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist and senior author of this study.

As part of the research, Dr. Dyck and a team of Mayo Clinic researchers selected 23 patients who developed neuropathy within 30 days of a surgical procedure. According to Dr. Dyck, the neuropathy of these 23 patients did not make sense in terms of being caused by stretching or compression because the nerves damaged were usually in a different part of the body from the surgical site or the neuropathy occurred at least a few days after the surgery was over. The surgical procedures were orthopedic, abdominal, chest or dental. All the patients received a nerve biopsy, of which 21 demonstrated increased inflammation. Seventeen patients were treated over a three-month period with immunotherapy, and in all cases with follow-up the neuropathy impairments improved.

"This is exciting for patients because it allows for appropriate identification and accurate treatment of postsurgical neuropathy. Without showing inflammation on the nerve biopsies, we would have been unable to know the cause of the neuropathy," says Nathan Staff, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist and the first author of this study.

"It is logical for patients to believe that it was the surgeon's fault that they developed a neuropathy because it occurred after the surgery," says Dr Dyck. "However, in these cases, we have strong evidence that the neuropathies were not the surgeon's fault but were caused by the immune system attacking the nerves."

Other members of the Mayo Clinic research team included JaNean Engelstad, Christopher Klein, M.D., Kimberly Amrami, M.D., Robert Spinner, M.D., Peter Dyck, M.D., Mark Warner, M.D., and Mary Warner, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N. P. Staff, J. Engelstad, C. J. Klein, K. K. Amrami, R. J. Spinner, P. J. Dyck, M. A. Warner, M. E. Warner, P. J. B. Dyck. Post-surgical inflammatory neuropathy. Brain, 2010; DOI: 10.1093/brain/awq252

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Inflammation causes some postsurgical neuropathies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922111432.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2010, September 22). Inflammation causes some postsurgical neuropathies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922111432.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Inflammation causes some postsurgical neuropathies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922111432.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins