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Keywords:

  • diabetes;
  • diabetic polyneuropathy;
  • electrodiagnosis;
  • neurophysiology;
  • SFEMG;
  • single-fiber conduction velocity

Abstract

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to determine whether single-fiber conduction velocity (SF-CV) of a small number of axons increases sensitivity for identification of motor nerve conduction alterations in patients with diabetes.

Methods

Twenty-one consecutive diabetic patients in good metabolic control were studied. For each patient, conventional (C-CV) and SF-CV results were correlated with the presence of neuropathic symptoms.

Results

Nine of 21 patients reported symptoms suggestive of mild nerve impairment. Three patients had abnormal sural nerve CV, 1 of whom also had abnormal motor nerve conduction. Eighteen patients had normal findings on conventional tests, 3 of whom had slowing of SF-CV.

Conclusions

SF-CV is able to detect mild myelin damage with higher sensitivity than conventional tests. The use of SF-CV may be a helpful tool in the early identification of diabetic polyneuropathy, and it may be useful for tailoring an approach to diabetic polyneuropathy. Muscle Nerve, 2011