Di Pietro G, Cioffi E, Falco P, Galosi E, De Stefano G, Di Stefano G, Leone C, Martines V, Perotti S, Casali C, Truini A.

This study examines high-resolution nerve ultrasound in FRDA patients, seeking correlations with established clinical markers of disease severity. Ten patients with Friedreich's Ataxia underwent a comprehensive clinical assessment with established scales (SARA, FARS, mFARS, INCAT, ADL 0-36, IADL). Additionally, they underwent nerve conduction studies and high-resolution nerve ultrasound. Quantitative evaluation of nerve cross-sectional area, conducted at 24 nerve sites using high-resolution nerve ultrasound, was compared with data obtained from 20 healthy volunteers. All the patients had a severe sensory axonal neuropathy. High-resolution nerve ultrasound showed significant increase, in cross sectional area, of median and ulnar nerves at the axilla and arm. The cumulative count of affected nerve sites was directly associated with clinical disability, as determined by SARA, FARS, mFARS, ADL 0-36, and INCAT score, while displaying an inverse correlation with IADL. This study shows that high-resolution ultrasound reveals notable nerve abnormalities, primarily in the upper limbs of patients diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia. The observed correlation between these nerve abnormalities and clinical disability scales indicates the potential use of this technique as a biomarker for evaluating disease severity and treatment effects.

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