Correlation of vibratory quantitative sensory testing and nerve conduction studies in patients with diabetes



Monitoring the course of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) remains a challenge. Besides clinical examination, nerve conduction studies (NCS) and quantitative sensory testing (QST) are the most commonly used methods for evaluating peripheral nerve function in clinical trials and population studies. In this study the correlation between vibratory QST and NCS was determined. Patients (N = 227) with diabetes mellitus participated in this multicenter, single-visit, cross-sectional study. QST of vibration measured with the CASE IV system was compared with a composite score of peroneal motor and tibial motor NCS and with individual attributes of peroneal, tibial, and sural nerves. The correlation between QST and composite score of NCS was 0.234 (Pearson correlation coefficient, P = 0.001). The correlations between QST and individual attributes of NCS ranged from 0.189 to 0.480 (Pearson correlation coefficients, P < 0.001). The low to moderate correlation between QST and NCS suggests that these tests cannot replace each other but are complementary. Muscle Nerve, 2007