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Advances in the diagnosis and management of diabetic distal symmetric polyneuropathy
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Submission date: 2012-11-29
Final revision date: 2013-04-06
Acceptance date: 2013-04-14
Online publication date: 2014-05-13
Publication date: 2014-04-30
Arch Med Sci 2014;10(2):345–354
Distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSPN) is the most common chronic complication of diabetes mellitus. The pathogenesis of DSPN is not fully elucidated, but it is certainly multifactorial in nature and attributable to metabolic and microvessel disorders related to chronic hyperglycemia, diabetes duration, and several cardiovascular risk factors. Early diagnosis and appropriate management are extremely important, since up to 50% of DSPN cases may be asymptomatic, and patients are unaware of foot injury leading to foot ulcers and amputation. Simple, validated tests such as the Neuropathy Disability Score and/or Vibration Perception Threshold may be used to diagnose DSPN. Similarly, neurological dysfunction screening questionnaires should be used to assess the quality and severity of DSPN symptoms. Using both methods enables prediction of the prognosis of diabetic patients with DSPN. No causative treatment of DSPN is known, but the results of clinical trials indicate that several treatment options are highly effective in symptomatic treatment of painful DSPN. The appropriate treatment of DSPN may improve the outcome, preventing or delaying the development of numerous diabetic complications.