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Diabetic Medicine
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 28  |  Issue: 11  |  Page No.: 1412 - 1415

Neuropad: evaluation of three cut-off points of sudomotor dysfunction for early detection of polyneuropathy in recently diagnosed diabetes

D. Ziegler, N. Papanas and M. Roden    

Abstract: Aims  To examine the sensitivity and specificity of three cut-off points of Neuropad for the diagnosis of distal symmetric polyneuropathy and small-fibre dysfunction in patients within the first year after diagnosis of diabetes.

Methods  Neuropad results were read at 10, 15 and 20 min and evaluated for diagnostic utility in distal symmetric polyneuropathy confirmed by electrophysiology and small-fibre dysfunction in 52 patients with Type 1 diabetes and 99 patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Results  The prevalence of distal symmetric polyneuropathy was 15.4% in Type 1 diabetes and 43.4% in Type 2 diabetes, while that of small-fibre dysfunction was 9.6 and 31.3%, respectively. Sensitivity of Neuropad for the diagnosis of distal symmetric polyneuropathy and small-fibre dysfunction was highest in Type 1 diabetes for the 10-min threshold reaching 87.5 and 80.0%, respectively, while it was modestly high in Type 2 diabetes at 65.1 and 67.7%, respectively. Specificity in both diabetes types was modest for the 10-min threshold (44.7-48.2%). It was highest for the 20-min threshold (83.8-89.3%) at the cost of poor sensitivity at 12.5-34.9%. Negative predictive values were relatively high for all three cut-off points in both types of diabetes (64.1-97.1%) at the cost of poor positive predictive values at 12.5-71.4%.

Conclusions  In patients within the first year after diagnosis of diabetes, the 10-min cut-off for Neuropad provides a relatively high sensitivity and modest specificity for distal symmetric polyneuropathy and small-fibre dysfunction, rendering the test more suitable as a screening tool than the 15- and 20-min cut-offs.

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