Oxaliplatin Neuropathy: Predictive Values of Skin Biopsy, QST and Berve Conduction

Thomas Krøigård*, Toke K Svendsen, Martin Wirenfeldt, Henrik D Schrøder, Camilla Qvortrup, Per Pfeiffer, David Gaist, Søren H Sindrup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background:Oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy negatively affects the quality of life for patients with gastrointestinal cancers and may cause neuropathic pain. Measures of peripheral nerve structure or function, such as intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) during treatment could reduce neuropathy severity through individualized dose reduction. Objective:The aim was to evaluate the predictive values of IENFD, quantitative sensory testing (QST), and nerve conduction studies (NCS) for significant neuropathy and neuropathic pain. Methods:Fifty-five patients were examined prospectively before, during, and six months following treatment using skin biopsies, QST and NCS. Clinically significant neuropathy six months after treatment was defined as reduced Total Neuropathy Score of more than five and neuropathic pain was assessed according to International Association for the Study of Pain criteria. Results:Thirty patients had a clinically significant neuropathy, and 14 had neuropathic pain. Vibration detection threshold (VDT) before treatment was correlated with clinically significant neuropathy six months after treatment (OR 0.54, p = 0.01) and reductions in cold detection threshold (CDT) after 25% of treatment (OR 1.38, p = 0.04) and heat pain threshold (HPT) after 50% of treatment (OR 1.91, p = 0.03) with neuropathic pain. Cut off values of 5 for baseline VDT and changes of more than –0.05 °C and –0.85 °C in CDT and HPT were estimated. Sensitivity and specificity was low to moderate. There was no correlation between changes in IENFD or NCS and significant neuropathy or neuropathic pain. Conclusions:Vibration detection thresholds and thermal detection thresholds may be useful for prediction of clinically significant and painful neuropathy, respectively. However, low to moderate sensitivity and specificity may limit the predictive value in clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neuromuscular Diseases
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)679-688
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Nerve conduction studies
  • neuropathic pain
  • oxaliplatin
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • quantitative sensory testing
  • skin biopsies


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