Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Intensive Care Medicine

pp 1529-1530


  • Carlton C. BarnettJr.Affiliated withRocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center, Denver Health Medical Center Email author 
  • , Nicole T. TownsendAffiliated withUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences Center


Neuropraxia is a type of peripheral nerve injury, and is known as the mildest form of nerve injury. It is classified as a transient conduction block of motor or sensory function without nerve degeneration, although loss of motor function is the most common finding. In cases of neuropraxia, autonomic function is preserved. Patients are usually able to fully recover within a period of weeks to months.

Nerve damage is classically described in terms of anatomical injury. Nerves are comprised of the endoneurium that surrounds axons. These include both individual axons that are covered in myelin and groups of axons than are unmyelinated. These collections are surrounded by a layer called perineurieum, and the epineurium forms the outermost layer. Vascular networks are contained within the epineurium to supply the capillaries to the endoneurium. Neuropraxia by definition does not involve damage to the axon.

Neuropraxia was originally described in 1943 by Seddon [1] as the mi ...

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