(HealthDay News) — Median neuropathy at the wrist may be an early indicator of diabetic neuropathy, according to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.

Shuji Horinouchi, from the Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medicine and Dental Sciences in Japan, and colleagues examined the clinical significance of median neuropathy in patients with diabetes. 

One hundred eighty-seven patients with diabetes who were hospitalized for glycemic control were categorized into four groups: patients without median neuropathy or diabetic polyneuropathy (n=71); patients with median neuropathy but without diabetic polyneuropathy (n=25); patients with median neuropathy and diabetic polyneuropathy (n=55); and patients with diabetic polyneuropathy but without median neuropathy (n=36).

The researchers found that the median neuropathy without diabetic polyneuropathy group included more patients in the early phase of diabetes (diagnosed within the past 5 years) and fewer patients with diabetic microangiopathy compared with the median neuropathy and diabetic polyneuropathy group. 

Compared with those without diabetic polyneuropathy, patients with median neuropathy and diabetic polyneuropathy had significantly lower motor and sensory nerve conduction velocities, longer F-wave latenciesand smaller sensory nerve action potentials.

“[Median neuropathy] in patients with diabetes could be attributed to an impairment in axonal function at common entrapment sites, and could be used to identify an early manifestation of diabetic neuropathy,” the researchers wrote.

Reference

  1. Horinouchi S et al. J Diabetes Investig. 2014;doi:10.1111/jdi.12211.