Diabetes and its complications are major causes of mortality in the United States, with increasing rates of morbidity and increasing health care costs. Patients diagnosed with diabetes attempt to control cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels to decrease the risk of diabetic microvascular complications (DMC), such as diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSP) [also known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN)]. Despite control of these risk factors for vascular disease, many patients still develop DSP. Research investigating diabetic neuropathy holds promise for specific treatment of diabetic complications. Intrinsic to the success of new therapies is the accurate diagnosis and evaluation of DSP. Symptom scores, quantitative sensory testing and electrophysiology are some of the diagnostic tools to identify the signs and symptoms of DSP. Early detection of neuropathy enables clinicians to prevent long-term complications like ulcers and amputations in patients with diabetes. The focus of this review is to describe the composite of tools necessary for diagnosis of DSP.
Keywords: Diabetic Sensorimotor Polyneuropathy (DPN), Vibration perception threshold (VPT), Diagnostic tools, diabetes, Quantitative sensory testing (QST), Diabetic microvascular complications
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