Skin Biopsy Analysis for Peripheral Neuropathies

Founded in 1993 by Justin McArthur, M.B.B.S., M.P.H. and the late Jack Griffin, Johns Hopkins Cutaneous Nerve Laboratory was established to develop a better and simpler method of identifying small nerve fibers in the skin that are frequently affected in some types of peripheral neuropathies.

The Cutaneous Nerve Laboratory was the first Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory to use epidermal nerve fiber analysis as a diagnostic tool, and ever since has been at the forefront of assessing the diagnostic and prognostic value of skin biopsies in neurological disease.

Our Services

We offer cutaneous nerve biopsies to all physicians, with diagnostic services to identify and monitor small fiber neuropathies through minimally invasive 3mm skin punch specimens, which we analyze for epidermal nerve fiber density and morphological changes. Our services include:

  • Biopsy kits with tools and return shipping
  • Assessment of intraepidermal nerve fiber density
  • Evaluation of sweat gland innervation

  • Staining to screen for the presence of amyloid
  • Pathological review of all specimens by neuromuscular trained specialists

Flexibility and Convenience for Patients and Physicians

Patients and physicians can choose to perform the biopsy in their office or at Johns Hopkins. For more information or to schedule a skin punch biopsy at Johns Hopkins, please call
  • At Johns Hopkins

    Patients can have the biopsy performed at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center or the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. View biopsy information for patients.

  • Outside of Johns Hopkins

    Physicians can perform the biopsy at their offices and mail the tissue sample to our laboratory using our biopsy kit. Learn about the process.

Our Team


Michael J. Polydefkis MD

  • Director, Cutaneous Nerve Lab
  • Professor of Neurology

Cutaneous Nerve Lab Physicians

Cutaneous Nerve Lab Staff

Dan Tsottles
Research Specialist

Keya Meyers
Research Specialist

Kelly Wagner
Laboratory Manager

Other CAP Approved Lab Technologists