Tactile direction discrimination and vibration detection in diabetic neuropathy.
Löken LS., Lundblad LC., Elam M., Olausson HW.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical usefulness of quantitative testing of tactile direction discrimination (TDD) in patients with diabetic neuropathy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: TDD and vibration detection were examined on the dorsum of the feet in 43 patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and clinical signs and symptoms indicating mild neuropathy, and abnormal results for neurography, temperature detection, or heart rate variability. Test-retest examination of TDD was performed in nine of the patients. RESULTS: Twenty-six of the patients had abnormal TDD (sensitivity 0.60) and 20 had abnormal vibration detection (sensitivity 0.46). Ten of the patients had abnormal TDD and normal vibration detection. Four of the patients had abnormal vibration detection and normal TDD. Test-retest examination of TDD showed a high degree of reproducibility (r = 0.87). CONCLUSION: TDD seems more useful than vibration detection in examination of diabetic neuropathy.