Rapid screening of diabetic polyneuropathy: Selection of accurate symptoms and signs in an outpatient clinical setting

Laily Najafi, Mohammad E. Khamseh, Mojtaba Malek, Hamid Reza Baradaran, Seyed Mojtaba Aghili, Maryam Kia, Rokhsareh Aghili* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Clinical assessment of distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DPN) involves the evaluation of symptoms and signs. Although there are numerous tools to evaluate DPN, there is still a need to determine the most sensitive, specific, and accurate tests to detect DPN in a busy outpatient clinical setting. A total of 107 patients with type 2 diabetes were examined using Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI). Total score of the instrument was used as a standard to calculate sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy of every single item of MNSI to find the most accurate and applicable test for evaluation of DPN. In patients' history, the most sensitive (99.4%) and accurate (78%) symptoms were muscle cramp and weakness. Numbness and prickling had lower sensitivity (72.6% and 67.9%, respectively) but greater specificity (65.2% and 47.8%). In physical assessment, the most accurate signs were appearance of feet (81.3%), ankle reflexes (67.2%), and vibration perception (63.5%). Monofilament test had a sensitivity of 16.7%, accuracy of 31.7% with specificity of 87%. Findings show that symptomssuch as a muscle cramp, weakness, numbness, and prickling, as well as signs such as ankle reflexes, appearance of feet, and vibration could be used as the most accurate tests for rapid diagnosis of DPN. In addition, the results suggest that monofilament examination may not be the optimum test to detect high risk patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-527
Number of pages9
JournalActa Medica Iranica
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Authors would like to thank Ms. Ameneh Ebrahim Valojerdi for her great help in preparation of this manuscript.


  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • MNSI
  • Signs
  • Symptoms


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