Morphometric Assessment of Peripheral Nerve

  • S. Allpress
  • M. Pollock
  • H. Nukada
Part of the Experimental and Clinical Neuroscience book series (ECN)


In the past, peripheral nerve morphometric techniques have been infrequently fully utilized. This has reflected the laborious and time-consuming nature of traditional peripheral nerve morphometry. Now with the availability of computer programmes and direct projection techniques, peripheral nerves can be rapidly and more completely assessed. In this paper we describe inexpensive contemporary techniques of morphometrically assessing peripheral nerve. Single teased nerve fibre analysis gives rapid quantitation of demyelination, remyelination, axonal degeneration and regeneration. A computerised analysis of internodal length provides such statistics as number, mean and coefficient of variation of internodal length and frequency distribution of internodal length. Binomial distribution is used to determine whether demyelinated or remyelinated internodes are grouped or randomly distributed. By using a particle analyser, densities and diameter histograms can be determined and plotted for total, small and large nerve fibre populations. Electron microscopic negatives when directly projected provide such parameters as axonal area, axonal perimeter, whole nerve fibre area, myelin perimeter, number of myelin lamellae, densities of axonal or Schwann cell organelles and indices of axonal or myelin circularity. The use of such morphometric techniques has greatly improved the assessment of peripheral nerve in clinical and experimental settings.


Nerve Fibre Peripheral Nerve Internodal Length Nerve Biopsy Sural Nerve Biopsy 
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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Allpress
    • 1
  • M. Pollock
    • 1
  • H. Nukada
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Otago Medical SchoolDunedinNew Zealand

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