Epidermal innervation in healthy children and adolescents

Ioanna G. Panoutsopoulou, Carlos A. Luciano, Gwen Wendelschafer-Crabb, James S. Hodges, William R. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: Epidermal nerve fiber (ENF) density, morphology, and epidermal innervation patterns were examined in children using 2 different techniques, punch biopsy and suction blister. Methods: Healthy children without symptoms or history of peripheral neuropathy and normal by neurologic examination were studied. Punch biopsy and suction blister specimens were collected from the lateral thigh and distal leg. ENFs were traced from confocal images of immunohistochemically stained samples. Statistical methods included repeated-measures analysis of covariance. Results: Blister and biopsy nerve counts were associated. ENF density in children was dense, lower for older children (P<0.01) and with no difference between boys and girls (P=0.92). Many ENFs appeared multibranched and elongated. Conclusions: Epidermal innervation in the pediatric population is dense and age-dependent. Blister specimens are less invasive and may provide an alternative to punch biopsy for determining ENF density in children at risk for neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Children
  • Epidermal nerve fibers
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Skin biopsy


Dive into the research topics of 'Epidermal innervation in healthy children and adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this