Clinical and prognostic features in unilateral femoral neuropathies

T Kuntzer, G van Melle, F Regli
Muscle & Nerve 1997, 20 (2): 205-11
We have examined the clinical features of patients with femoral neuropathy and the factors that influence the prognosis. Of 80 consecutive patients referred for neurophysiological evaluations of proximal lower limb weakness, 32 fulfilled strict inclusion criteria and had adequate information, including estimates of axon loss (AxL) by stimulation of the bilateral femoral nerve. In 31, the Kaplan-Meier method was used to describe the time course of the outcome, while logistic regression was employed to determine the contributing factors. Excellent, satisfactory, and poor outcomes were seen in 10 (31%), 11 (34%), and 10 (31%) patients, respectively. Logistic regression analysis of seven factors demonstrated that the estimate of AxL was the only significant variable. The best prognostic factor was an estimate of AxL < or = 50%, with all patients fulfilling this criterion showing improvement with 1 year; fewer than half the patients with AxL > 50% should be expected to improve. This study clearly shows that, irrespective of the cause of femoral neuropathy, functional improvement is seen in 2 out of 3 patients within 2 years and that the estimate of AxL is the only factor influencing prognosis.

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