Single-fiber conduction velocity test allows earlier detection of abnormalities in diabetes

Luca Padua, Erik Stålberg, Pietro Caliandro, Giovanna Muscogiuri, Costanza Pazzaglia, Gian Pio Sorice, Giuseppe Granata, Enrica Salomone, Alfredo Pontecorvi, Andrea Giaccari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to determine whether single-fiber conduction velocity (SF-CV) of a small number of axons increases sensitivity for identification of motor nerve conduction alterations in patients with diabetes. Methods: Twenty-one consecutive diabetic patients in good metabolic control were studied. For each patient, conventional (C-CV) and SF-CV results were correlated with the presence of neuropathic symptoms. Results: Nine of 21 patients reported symptoms suggestive of mild nerve impairment. Three patients had abnormal sural nerve CV, 1 of whom also had abnormal motor nerve conduction. Eighteen patients had normal findings on conventional tests, 3 of whom had slowing of SF-CV. Conclusions: SF-CV is able to detect mild myelin damage with higher sensitivity than conventional tests. The use of SF-CV may be a helpful tool in the early identification of diabetic polyneuropathy, and it may be useful for tailoring an approach to diabetic polyneuropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-656
Number of pages5
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic polyneuropathy
  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Neurophysiology
  • Single-fiber conduction velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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