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Pronunciation: pol'e-nu-rop'a-the


  1. A disease process involving a number of peripheral nerves (literal sense).
  2. A nontraumatic generalized disorder of peripheral nerves, affecting the distal fibers most severely, with proximal shading (the feet are affected sooner or more severely than the hands), and typically symmetrically; most often affects motor and sensory fibers almost equally, but can involve either one, either solely or very disproportionately; classified as axon degenerating (axonal), or demyelinating; many causes, particularly metabolic and toxic; familial or sporadic.

Synonym(s): polyneuritis

[poly- + G. neuron, nerve, + pathos, disease]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.