Electroneurographic (ENeG) and evoked potential (EP) studies were regularly performed on 11 printing workers with n-hexane polyneuropathy after cessation of exposure. At the initial examination, the ENeG studies simulated a demyelinative process. Further slowing of nerve conduction velocity, or further decreasing of action potential amplitude, or both in the follow up ENeG study were found in about half the patients. The motor distal latency did not worsen. Nerve conduction returned to normal earlier in the sensory than in the motor nerves. After the patients had regained full motor capability, conduction velocities in motor nerves were still significantly slowed. These ENeG characteristics correlate with the pathological and pathophysiological changes in experimental hexa-carbon neuropathies. The initial findings from the EP studies indicated a conduction abnormality in the central nervous system (CNS). Delayed worsening occurred in the amplitude of visual EPs in three patients. On serial follow up, the interpeak latency and interpeak amplitude of visual EPs improved little. Residual abnormalities were also found in the interpeak latency of auditory EPs in the brainstem and in the absolute latency of scalp somatosensory EPs from the peroneal nerve. Astroglial proliferation in the CNS probably impedes recovery of the abnormalities in EP.
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