Nerve conduction defects are retarded by tight metabolic control in type I diabetes

Muscle Nerve. 2001 Feb;24(2):240-6. doi: 10.1002/1097-4598(200102)24:2<240::aid-mus90>;2-2.


This follow-up study examines whether the development of nerve dysfunction is retarded by tight metabolic control in patients with type I diabetes mellitus. Seventy-one patients and 115 age-matched healthy control subjects underwent studies of nerve conduction in peroneal and sural nerves. The presence of diabetes was associated with a reduction in peroneal motor nerve conduction velocity (MCV) by 5.9 m/s, sural sensory nerve conduction velocity (SCV) by 3.4 m/s, and sural sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitude by 22%. Dysfunction in peroneal MCV, sural SCV, and sural SNAP were related to long-term poor metabolic control. Eleven of 12 patients with HbA1c <6.5% had normal nerve conduction or abnormality in only one nerve as compared to 2 of 15 patients with HbA1c >8.0%. It is concluded that tight long-term metabolic control (HbA1c <6.5%) can retard nerve dysfunction in patients with type I diabetes mellitus and a mean disease duration of 12 years.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Neural Conduction / physiology*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology
  • Peroneal Nerve / physiopathology
  • Reflex, Stretch / physiology
  • Sural Nerve / physiopathology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin