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Peripheral Neuropathies in Pregnancy

Massey, E. Wayne MD, FAAN; Guidon, Amanda C. MD

CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology: February 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 1 - p 100–114
doi: 10.1212/
Review Articles

Purpose of Review This article provides an overview of the most common peripheral neuropathic disorders in pregnancy with a focus on clinical recognition, diagnosis, and treatment.

Recent Findings The literature on this topic consists primarily of case reports, case series, and retrospective reviews. Recent work, particularly in carpal tunnel syndrome, brachial neuritis, and inherited neuropathies in pregnancy, has added to our knowledge of this field. Awareness of diabetic polyneuropathy with associated autonomic dysfunction in pregnancy has grown as the incidence of diabetes mellitus increases in women of childbearing age.

Summary Women may develop mononeuropathy, plexopathy, radiculopathy, or polyneuropathy during pregnancy or postpartum. Pregnancy often influences consideration of etiology, treatment, and prognosis. In women of childbearing age with known acquired or genetic neuromuscular disorders, pregnancy should be anticipated and appropriate counseling provided. An interdisciplinary approach with other medical specialties is often necessary.

Address correspondence to Dr E. Wayne Massey, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, DUMC 3909, Durham, NC 27710,

Relationship Disclosure: Drs Massey and Guidon report no disclosure.

Unlabeled Use of Products/Investigational Use Disclosure: Drs Massey and Guidon report no disclosure.

© 2014 American Academy of Neurology
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