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Muscle Nerve. 2006 Apr;33(4):494-9.

Differential impairment of the sudomotor and nociceptor axon-reflex in diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

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Department of Neurology, University of M√ľnster, M√ľnster, Germany.


It is not known whether C-fiber functional subclasses are differentially affected by diabetes mellitus or whether the patterns of C-fiber dysfunction are different between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We therefore examined efferent sympathetic sudomotor and primary afferent nociceptor C-fiber function in diabetic patients. Acetylcholine (10%) was used to evoke C-fiber (axon-reflex)-mediated responses. The nociceptor (flare) response was measured using a laser Doppler device. The sudomotor response was quantified with silastic imprints. The nociceptor C-fiber-mediated flare response was reduced in type 2 diabetic patients (P < 0.008) but was similar to controls in type 1 diabetic patients. The sympathetic C-fiber-mediated responses, including sweat volume (P < 0.05) and the number of activated sweat glands (P = 0.003), were increased in patients with type 1 diabetes. There also was a trend toward a larger axon-reflex sweat area in patients with type 1 diabetes (P = 0.09). No differences in these sweat responses were found in patients with type 2 diabetes compared to controls. These findings suggest that the functional abnormalities in diabetic peripheral neuropathy are not homogeneous and that C-fiber subclasses are differentially affected in type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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