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Quantitative sensory testing and skin biopsy findings in late-onset ATTRv presymptomatic carriers: Relationships with predicted time of disease onset (PADO).

INTRODUCTION: Hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis polyneuropathy (ATTRv-PN) presymptomatic carriers often show preclinical abnormalities at small fiber-related diagnostic tests. However, no validated biomarker is currently available to use for presymptomatic carriers' follow-up, thus helping therapeutic decision making. Our study aimed at assessing nerve conduction study (NCS), quantitative sensory testing (QST), and skin biopsy parameters in a large cohort of late-onset ATTRv presymptomatic carriers and to evaluate whether they correlated with predicted age of disease onset (PADO).

METHODS: Late-onset ATTRv presymptomatic carriers were consecutively enrolled and underwent NCS, QST, and skin biopsy with intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) evaluation from a distal and a proximal site. Douleur Neuropathique-4 (DN4) and Small Fiber Neuropathy-Symptoms Inventory (SFN-SIQ) were used to assess painful and small fiber neuropathy-related symptoms. PADO and time-to-PADO (delta-PADO) were estimated for each carrier, and correlations with diagnostic test measures were analyzed.

RESULTS: Forty presymptomatic ATTRv subjects were enrolled. Twenty carriers (50%) had distal IENFD reduction, with a non-length-dependent distribution in 73% of cases. Eleven subjects (27.5%) had cold and/or warm detection threshold (CDT and/or WDT) abnormalities at QST. Delta-PADO positively correlated with sural sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitude (r = .416, p = .004), and z-values of QST parameters like CDT (r = .314, p = .028), WDT (r = -.294, p = .034), and mechanical detection threshold (MDT; r = -.382, p = .012). Simple linear regression models showed a linear relation between delta-PADO and sural SAP, CDT, and MDT.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that IENFD reduction and QST abnormalities may occur early in ATTRv presymptomatic carriers, often with a non-length-dependent pattern. However, only sural SAP amplitude and QST parameters correlated with delta-PADO, suggesting that serial combined QST and NCS evaluation could be useful in ATTRv presymptomatic carriers' follow-up.

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