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Clin Exp Optom. 2012 May;95(3):355-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2012.00729.x. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Corneal sensitivity is related to established measures of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

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Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia.



The objective was to investigate the association between corneal sensitivity and established measures of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN).


Corneal sensitivity was measured in 93 individuals with diabetes, 146 diabetic individuals without neuropathy and 61 control individuals without diabetes or neuropathy using a non-contact corneal aesthesiometer at the baseline visit of a five-year longitudinal natural history study of DPN. The correlation between corneal sensitivity and established measures of neuropathy was estimated and multi-dimensional scaling was used to represent similarities and dissimilarities between variables.


The corneal sensitivity threshold was significantly correlated with a majority of established measures of DPN. Correlation coefficients ranged from -0.32 to 0.26. Using multi-dimensional scaling, non-contact corneal aesthesiometry was closer to the neuropathy disability score, diabetic neuropathy symptom score and Neuropad and most dissimilar to electrophysiological parameters and quantitative sensory testing.


Corneal sensitivity, although not strongly related, is associated with other functional measures of DPN and might provide a useful adjunct in identifying functional loss of small nerve fibre integrity.

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