Small fiber sensory neuropathy (SFSN)



SFSN affects the small fibers of the peripheral nervous system, resulting in sensory disturbances which affect different areas of the body. The two types of SFSN are length-dependent SFSN, and non-length-dependent SFSN and these differ based on the location of the symptoms.

Common Symptoms

Burning pain or coldness, electric shock-like brief painful sensations, dry eyes, dry mouth, postural lightheadedness, presyncope, syncope, abnormal sweating, erectile dysfunction, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, early satiety, and difficulty with urinary frequency. 

Risk Factors and Prevalence

As opposed to length-dependent SFSN, non-length-dependent SFSN is more likely to affect females and has an earlier onset. The non-length-dependent form also has a higher association with immune-mediated conditions. Diabetes has also been identified as a common precursor to developing SFSN.


  1. Article Sources
    1. Hovaguimian, A., & Gibbons, C. H. (2011). Diagnosis and Treatment of Pain in Small Fiber Neuropathy. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 15(3), 193–200.

    2. Khan, S., & Zhou, L. (2012). Characterization of non–length-dependent small-fiber sensory neuropathy. Muscle & Nerve, 45(1), 86–91.

    3. McNamara, L. (n.d.). Small Fiber Sensory Neuropathy. Retrieved June 12, 2021, from