Aims: To provide one of the diagnostic categories for distal diabetic polyneuropathy,several symptom scoring systems are available, which are often extensive and lack in validation. We validated a new four-item Diabetic Neuropathy Symptom (DNS) score for diagnosing distal diabetic polyneuropathy.
Methods: We compared score characteristics of the generally accepted Neuropathy Symptom Score (NSS) with the DNS score, and tested construct validity,predictive value and reproducibility with the Diabetic Neuropathy Examination score, Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments and Vibration Perception Threshold(clinical standards) in 73 patients with diabetes (24 Type 1, 49 Type 2;43 male/30 female; mean age 57 years (19-90);mean diabetes duration 15 years (1-43)).
Results: Correlation between NSS and DNS score was high (Spearman r= 0.88). Patient scores were more differentiated on the DNS score. The relation of the NSS and DNS scores, respectively, with clinical standards was good (Spearman r= 0.21-0.60). Reproducibility of the DNS score was high (Cohen weighted kappa 0.78-0.95). The DNS score was easier to perform in clinical practice.
Conclusions: The DNS is validated, fast and easy to perform, with a high predictive value when screening for diabetic polyneuropathy.