Cutaneous biopsy is a complementary method, alternative to peripheral nerve biopsy, for the analysis of nerve involvement in peripheral neuropathies, systemic diseases, and several pathologies of the central nervous system. Most of these neuropathological studies were focused on the intraepithelial nerve fibers (thin-myelinated Aδ fibers and unmyelinated C fibers), and few studies investigated the variations in dermal innervation, that is, large myelinated fibers, Merkel’s cell-neurite complexes, and Meissner’s corpuscles. Here, we updated and summarized the current data about the quantitative and qualitative changes that undergo MCs and MkCs in peripheral neuropathies. Moreover, we provide a comprehensive rationale to include MCs in the study of cutaneous biopsies when analyzing the peripheral neuropathies and aim to provide a protocol to study them.
Part of the book: Demystifying Polyneuropathy