Exposure to severe cold can result in a peripheral neuropathy.


Mechanism: injury to peripheral nerve associated with cold, possibly due to ischemia with reperfusion. This may affect both large and small diameter nerves.


Clinical features:

(1) exposure to severe cold, including trench foot (non-freezing cold injury)

(2) sensorimotor neuropathy with onset after the exposure

(3) exclusion of other causes of nerve injury


The neuropathy may be limited to exposed extremities.


It would be interesting to see if the presence of cold agglutinins increases the risk.


Over time there may be some gradual recovery in nerve function but muscular atrophy may persist.


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