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Session Information

FOC U045 - The Skin Biopsy: What it Can, Can't, and Maybe Could Tell Us About Cutaneous Nerves, Pruritus, and Sensory Neuropathies

Open admission to eligible categories, no tuition or ticket


Date: Sunday, March 03

CME Credits: 1.00

Location: Room B112/113

Time: 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Director: Deon Wolpowitz, MD, FAAD

Learning Objectives:
Following this course, the attendee should be able to:

  • Recognize the different subtypes of nerves in the skin, focusing on those mediating pain and itch
  • Evaluate the utility of measuring intraepidermal nerve fiber density in the clinical setting of pruritus and/or sensory neuropathies
  • Demonstrate how current research findings regarding the pathophysiology of itch could be applied to skin biopsies to diagnosis the cause of pruritus and guide treatment

Skin biopsies play a central role in the evaluation of cutaneous disease. However, for the complaints of pruritus or other cutaneous dysesthesias, the routine skin biopsy is limited to assessing for an underlying inflammatory etiology. This session addresses: (1) the different types of cutaneous nerves and ways to identify them; (2) describes how to measure intra-epidermal nerve fiber density and the clinical utility and limitations of this test; and (3) integrates basic science advances in how skin nerves signal itch to project a future possible expanded role for skin biopsies in evaluating pruritus.