Neuropathology Lab - Skin Biopsy, Cutaneous Innervation Laboratory

David Herrmann, M.D., Director

A minimally invasive type of skin biopsy, called a punch skin biopsy, can be used to evaluate unmyelinated sensory nerve fibers, replacing nerve conduction studies and EMG. Skin biopsies are typically taken at the ankle and the nearest thigh, although the location may depend on the patient’s condition.

Skin biopsies can help diagnose:

  • Suspected small fiber sensory neuropathies in patients with unexplained burning, numbness, or tingling in their feet or legs
  • The presence and severity of sensory neuropathy when nerve conduction studies and EMG are not diagnostic
  • A central nervous system cause for numbness or tingling (e.g., multiple sclerosis) and other conditions that do not cause loss of epidermal nerve fibers
  • Small fiber neuropathy as a cause of late onset restless leg syndrome

Schedule a Patient:
The University of Rochester Cutaneous Innervation Laboratory processes skin biopsy specimens for analysis of epidermal nerve fiber density and morphology. If you would like to schedule a patient to have the skin biopsy procedure performed at University of Rochester Medical Center, please call Mary Jackson at 585 275 6372.

Samples from Outside Institutions:
The cutaneous innervation laboratory also accepts skin biopsies obtained at outside institutions for processing and analysis of epidermal nerve fiber density and morphology. If you wish to establish such a service through the cutaneous innervation laboratory, please first contact Don Henderson at 585 275 1330 for detailed information regarding this service.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment or to speak with one of our neurologists, please call 585-275-1200. If you must cancel your appointment, please do so at least 24 hours in advance.

The Department of Neurology participates with Blue Choice, MVP Healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rochester health plans.

Co-payments are collected at time of service. We accept cash or check only for all applicable co-payments and personal balances due at the time of service.