Comparison of different screening tests for diagnosis of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in Primary Health Care setting

Metab Ali Al-Geffari

National Guard Program – Riyadh


Background: DPN is an important complication and contributes to the morbidity of diabetes mellitus. Evidence indicates early detection of DPN results in fewer foot ulcers and amputations.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare different screening tests in the detection of DPN in primary care setting.

Methodology: It is a cross-sectional study in a random sample (N = 242) of type 2 diabetes mellitus participants at primary care setting. Different screening tests for detecting DPN such as Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI), Semmes-Weinstein Monofilament (SWM), vibration sensation and ankle reflex were performed for each patient and compare between them.

Results: 45% of the participant had DPN based on MNSI, The detection rate using the 128-Hz tuning fork and 10-g SWM was nearly same (32.6 & 31.4%) respectively and significantly higher than ankle reflexes (23.1%). Although, the prevalence of DPN determined by the combined two tests (38.79%) was higher than that through the single test.

Conclusion: this study showed different results of DPN screening tests, even in the same group of patients. However there was a significant correlation between them. 128-Hz tuning fork and 10-g SWM monofilament would appear to be an appropriate, cheap and easy to use tool for identifying patients at risk of having neuropathy in primary care setting.


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