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Lancet. 2001 Jul 7;358(9275):35-6.

Spinal-cord involvement in diabetic peripheral neuropathy.


The pathogenesis of diabetic distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSP) is poorly understood but there is some evidence that the disease process might extend beyond peripheral nerves. We used magnetic-resonance imaging to measure spinal-cord cross-sectional area in diabetic patients with and without DSP and in healthy controls. There were significant differences in cord area between the groups at C4/5 and T3/4 (p=0.004 and p=0.033, respectively), with a smaller cord area in those with DSP compared with controls (p=0.001 and p=0.016 for C4/5 and T3/4, respectively). These results indicate that DSP is not simply a disease of the peripheral nerve and that there is substantial involvement of the spinal cord.

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