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Neuropathy in adolescents with type 1 diabetes: Confirmatory diagnostic tests, bedside tests, and risk factors

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AIMS: To estimate the prevalence of large fiber (LFN), small fiber (SFN), and autonomic neuropathy in adolescents with type 1 diabetes using confirmatory tests known from adults and to identify risk factors and bedside methods for neuropathy.

METHODS: Sixty adolescents with type 1 diabetes (diabetes duration>five years) and 23 control subjects underwent neurological examination and confirmatory diagnostic tests for neuropathy, including nerve conduction studies, skin biopsies determining intraepidermal nerve fiber density, quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test (QSART), cardiovascular reflex tests (CARTs), and tilt table test. Possible risk factors were analyzed. Bedside tests (biothesiometry, DPNCheck®, Sudoscan, and Vagus®device) were compared with the confirmatory tests using ROC analysis.

RESULTS: The prevalence of neuropathies in the adolescents with diabetes (mean HbA1c 7.6% (60 mmol/mol)) was as follows: 14% confirmed/26% subclinical LFN, 2% confirmed/25% subclinical SFN, 20% abnormal QSART, 8% abnormal CARTs, and 14% orthostatic hypotension. Higher age, higher insulin dose, previous smoking, and higher triglycerides level were found to increase the relative risk for neuropathy. The bedside tests showed poor to acceptable concordance with the confirmatory tests (all, AUC ≤ 0.75).

CONCLUSIONS: The diagnostic tests confirmed the presence of neuropathy in adolescents with diabetes and underscore the importance of prevention and screening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110736
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

    Research areas

  • Adolescents, Neuropathy, Risk factors, Screening methods, Type 1 diabetes, Humans, Risk Factors, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/complications, Neural Conduction/physiology, Diagnostic Tests, Routine, Peripheral Nervous System Diseases, Adolescent, Adult

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