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Meralgia paraesthetica: a report on a series of 140 cases
INTRODUCTION. Meralgia paraesthetica is a pathology that is frequently seen in visits to extra-hospital neurology services. Nevertheless, the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of this condition remain somewhat unclear.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. A retrospective study was conducted involving 140 patients. Data were collected concerning demographic aspects, clinical picture, diagnostic study, aetiology, treatment and progression.
RESULTS. There was a predominance of males, with a mean age of 54 years. The mean follow-up time was 25 months. The symptoms that were reported were as follows: numbness, burning pain, tingling or prickling in the nerve territory. Hypaesthesia was the most frequent sign found in the examination. History of another compressive neuropathy was present in 13.6% of patients. The diagnosis was based on the patient record and the neurological examination. The neurophysiological study and complementary tests were reserved for atypical cases. The most common causation was spontaneous and only three cases were found to be secondary to a structural lesion. A third of the patients were receiving pharmacological treatment. Although the clinical picture was benign, in most cases it tended to become chronic. Patients treated pharmacologically did not show a significant improvement in comparison to those who were not given treatment. The most important data for forecasting improvement of the clinical picture were the identification and correction of the factors precipitating compression of the nerve.