A comparison of electrophysiological tests for the early diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy.Muscle Nerve. 1999 Dec; 22(12):1667-73.MN
Clinical criteria and several electrophysiological parameters for detecting nerve damage were compared in 99 patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2. Abnormal results were found in sural/radial amplitude ratio (51%), minimal F-wave latency of the tibial nerve (36.4%), sensory conduction velocity of the sural nerve (29.8%), and sural sensory nerve action potential amplitude (29.3%) when pooling data from all patients and comparing them to age- and height-matched normal control subjects. Analysis of all the parameters revealed large differences between the diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2 groups, suggesting that the type of diabetes must be taken into account when comparing the sensitivity of nerve conduction tests. In diabetes mellitus type 1, the sural/radial ratio had the clearest correlation with course of illness and was the first parameter to show a significant reduction. We conclude that the simple ratio between sural and radial amplitudes is a very sensitive parameter and abnormalities in this ratio provide the means for earliest detection of neuropathy in diabetes mellitus type 1.