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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 1997 Jun;36(3):161-7.

The level of erythrocyte aldose reductase: a risk factor for diabetic neuropathy?

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Diabetes Center, Tokyo Women's Medical College, Japan.


The level of erythrocyte aldose reductase protein (AR-p) was determined in diabetic patients as well as in 76 healthy controls by a two-site enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. No significant difference in the mean AR-p level was demonstrated between the healthy and diabetic individuals. Based on the results of seven nerve function tests, 95 non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) patients were classified into two groups: Group I, without demonstrable neuropathy ( < or = 1 abnormal test results); Group II, overt neuropathy ( > or = 2 abnormal results). The AR-p level was significantly higher in Group II than that in Group I. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified two independent risk factors for overt neuropathy: longer duration of diabetes after clinical diagnosis (odds ratio, 1.15 per year; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-1.25) and a higher level of AR-p (odds ratio, 1.92 per 1 ng mgHb(-1); 95% confidence interval, 1.39-2.65). On 31 patients the AR-p level was re-assessed after a 12-month follow-up period. Irrespective of improved or stable HbA(1c) levels during the follow-up period, no apparent alteration in the level of AR-p was demonstrated. These results suggest that erythrocyte AR-p level may affect the susceptibility or development of diabetic neuropathy in NIDDM patients.

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