Symptomatic focal mononeuropathies in diabetic patients: increased or not?

J Neurol. 2005 Apr;252(4):448-52. doi: 10.1007/s00415-005-0672-8. Epub 2005 Feb 23.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether symptomatic mononeuropathies are more frequent in diabetic patients without symptoms of acute or subacute polyneuropathy than in the general population.For this purpose, six hundred and forty two consecutive outpatients with various acute symptomatic mononeuropathies (radial, ulnar or peroneal neuropathy, Bell's palsy or carpal tunnel syndrome) without symptoms of acute or subacute polyneuropathy were studied. The results showed that in 522 patients with symptomatic carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and in 38 patients with Bell's palsy, the rate of diabetes was 7.7% and 10.5%, respectively. These rates do not differ significantly from the anticipated frequency of diabetes in the general population. On the other hand, in 18 patients with radial neuropathy at (or distally to) the spiral groove, in 41 patients with ulnar neuropathy and in 23 patients with peroneal neuropathy at the fibular head, the respective rates were 27.8%, 12.2 % and 30.4%. These rates are significantly higher than those anticipated according to the frequency of diabetes in the general population. The findings of the present study indicate that only focal limb neuropathies due to acute external compression are more frequent in diabetic patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mononeuropathies / epidemiology*
  • Mononeuropathies / etiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests