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Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density

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Arkana Laboratories now offers Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density (ENFD) Testing. ENFD testing is widely used by neurologists in the United States and Europe to evaluate for small fiber neuropathy.

Specimen Handling and Transport:

It is essential that skin biopsy is immediately-fixed in the provided fixative (Zamboni’s) for evaluation (see additional instructions below).

 Skin Biopsy Specimen Collection: 

  • Distal lower leg – 10.0 cm above the lateral malleolus (most common site) 
  • Distal Thigh – 7.0 cm above the knee, lateral
  • Proximal Thigh – 20.0 cm below the anterior iliac spine, upper lateral thigh

Biopsy of proximal and distal sites allows for assessment of length-dependent processes.

Alternative biopsy sites are best evaluated by also submitting a punch biopsy from a similar location in the opposite non-affected limb to serve as a reference control.

 Biopsy Handling Protocol:

  1. Clean the biopsy site with alcohol swabs and numb the area(s) with local anesthesia (for example 1% lidocaine or 1% lidocaine with epinephrine).
  2. Use provided 3.0 mm biopsy punch; rotate with light pressure to 2/3 of its depth (2 to 3 mm).
  3. Use forceps and scissors to carefully remove the biopsy specimen (do not grasp or pinch the epidermis when removing the punch biopsy as this will crush the small nerves we are measuring).
  4. Immediately place the removed biopsy into the appropriate labeled specimen vial containing Zamboni’s fixative and tightly close the lid.
  5. Label specimen containers with biopsy site and two patient identifiers (e.g. name and date of birth).

Please only transport specimens Monday-Thursday. 

Optimal results are obtained when the specimen is not fixed for more than 24 hours. Results are final within 3-5 days.