Arch Neurol 2004 May;61(5):747-50
Equipe d'Accueil 2966, Victor Segalen University, Bordeaux, France.
Background: Involvement of the peripheral nervous system in the pathogenesis of prion diseases is becoming increasingly evident. However, pathologic protease-resistant prion protein deposition in the peripheral nerves of patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease has never been demonstrated, to our knowledge.
Objective: To determine whether mutated prion protein accumulation could be shown in the peripheral nervous system of patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Design: Autopsy study.
Patients: Three patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Interventions: Study of the brain, spinal cord, and sciatic and superficial peroneal nerves by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis.
Main Outcome Measure: Demonstration of protease-resistant prion protein accumulation.
Results: In all cases, protease-resistant prion protein accumulation was found in the brain and posterior horns of the spinal cord. In 1 case, protease-resistant prion protein deposits were also evidenced in the dorsal root ganglia and the superficial peroneal nerve.
Conclusions: Protease-resistant prion protein may be found in the peripheral nervous system of some patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. However, a larger series is required to assess the incidence of peripheral nervous system involvement and to discuss the diagnostic usefulness of peripheral nerve biopsy in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.