Mechanisms of sensory loss extend to the contralateral side in both painful and painless unilateral neuropathies

Takeaway

  • Unilateral peripheral neuropathy due to herpes zoster, peripheral nerve injury, or radiculopathy provokes contralateral sensory changes independent of disease duration.

Why this matters

    In unilateral neuropathy, comparison to a contralateral unaffected area is a common practice for both bedside sensory assessment and for quantitative sensory testing and can increase the sensitivity in detecting abnormal values. These findings provide further information on the impact on contralateral abnormalities on the sensitivity of sensory testing in clinical practice.