The Relationship Between Sural Nerve Morphometric Findings and Measures of Peripheral Nerve Function in Mild Diabetic Neuropathy

A. Veves, R. A. Malik, R. H. Lye, E. A. Masson, A. K. Sharma, W. Schady, A. J.M. Boulton

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The morphological findings in sural nerve biopsy specimens from 15 diabetic patients with mild neuropathy were compared with control biopsies from eight non‐neuropathic, nondiabetic subjects, and correlations were sought with electrophysiological studies and quantitative sensory tests for vibration, thermal, and current perception thresholds. Myelinated fibre density was reduced compared with control biopsies (4042 ± 2090 (±SD) vs 6800 ± 1100 mm−2; p < 0.01). A strong correlation existed between myelinated fibre density and sural sensory conduction velocity (r = 0.84, p < 0.001), sural action potential amplitude (r = 0.74, p < 0.001), peroneal motor conduction velocity (r = 0.58, p < 0.02), and median sensory amplitude (r = 0.64, p < 0.01) but there was no correlation between myelinated fibre density and any quantitative sensory test. We conclude that conventional electrophysiological tests in the lower limb are reliable surrogate measures for structural abnormalities in early diabetic neuropathy. 1991 Diabetes UK

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-921
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1991



  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Electrophysiology
  • Sural nerve biopsies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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