Clinical usefulness of the two-site Semmes-Weinstein monofilament test for detecting diabetic peripheral neuropathy

J Korean Med Sci. 2003 Feb;18(1):103-7. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2003.18.1.103.


The present study was done to validate the two-site Semmes-Weinstein (SW) monofilament test in identifying patients at risk of lower-extremity complications in clinical setting. The SW monofilament test and nerve conduction study were conducted on type 2 diabetic patients (n=37) at Pusan National University Hospital in Korea. As the duration of diabetes mellitus was longer, neuropathy identified by nerve conduction study and complications of diabetes were more severe (p<0.01). The number of sites unable to perceive SW monofilament (p<0.001) was larger in patients with lower-extremity neuropathy symptoms than those without symptoms. Sensitivity and specificity at two sites (the third and fifth metatarsal head sites) were 93% and 100%, respectively. In conclusion, the two-site SW monofilament test was a sensitive, specific, simple, and inexpensive screening tool for identifying diabetic peripheral neuropathy in clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Conduction
  • Neurologic Examination / instrumentation*
  • Neurologic Examination / methods
  • Pressure
  • Sensation Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Touch