Capturing cases of distal symmetric polyneuropathy in a community


  • Disclosure: K.K. received speaker honoraria from the American Academy of Neurology and Munson Medical Center, and served as a consultant for the American Academy of Neurology; the Weinberg Group; and Estes, Ingram, Foels & Gibbs, P.A.



Little is known about what constitutes appropriate diagnostic testing in patients with distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSP).


Utilizing an ICD-9 screening method and medical record abstraction, we determined the number of new cases of DSP within community neurology practices in Nueces County, Texas. We then compared 2 case capture methods (ICD-9 vs. all-case review screening).


The ICD-9 case capture method identified 52 cases over a 3-month period. Comparing case capture methods, the ICD-9 method identified 16 of 17 cases identified by the all-case review method (94%). The ICD-9 method required screening of 84% fewer charts compared with the all-case review.


Many new cases of DSP occur each month within Nueces County. The ICD-9 screening technique combined with medical abstraction is an efficient method to identify new DSP cases in this community. These findings are critical for future epidemiological investigations into patients with DSP. Muscle Nerve, 2012