Diabetic neuropathy test is a method of defining damage to nerves in the body which occurs due to high blood sugar levels from diabetes, and related decreased blood flow. Over time excess blood glucose can injure the walls of tiny blood vessels which nourish the nerves, especially in the legs. In the USA 15-20 million people over the age of 40 have neuropathy. About half of people with diabetes will develop nerve damage.
Diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy is made based on the symptoms mentioned above as well as a physical exam – blood pressure and heart rate, muscle strength, reflexes, sensitivity to position, vibration, temperature, or a light touch.
The doctor may also run other diabetic neuropathy tests to diagnose diabetic neuropathy in order to determine the extent of the nerve damage. These Diabetic neuropathy tests may include nerve conduction tests, electromyography (EMG), quantitative sensory testing (QST), heart rate variability, ultrasound, nerve or skin biopsy.
Diabetic neuropathy test – from diagnosis to therapy
Diabetic neuropathy is the clinical field in which QST has been most commonly applied, covering every aspect of the neuropathy, from diagnosis to therapy. QST diabetic neuropathy test was suggested as a tool for staging diabetic neuropathy by assessing the presence and severity of the neuropathy based on the degree of warm and cold threshold abnormality.
There is a significant correlation between the thermal abnormalities and the clinical bedside examination of small fiber function suggesting that these criteria could be used for long-term assessment of patients (Zaslansky and Yarnitsky, 1998).
Researches show the importance of QST diabetic neuropathy test in the early detection of dysfunctional unmyelinated fibers in DPN. Subclinical detection can reduce severe neurological complications and allow early and effective treatment.
QST in diabetic neuropathy is not just a diabetic neuropathy test, it is also valuable as treatment monitoring tool: in providing quantitative data in longitudinal natural history or clinical trial studies, thresholds can be measured over a long time period, thus show if there is any improvement in the patient condition.