Improved foot sensitivity and pain reduction in patients with peripheral neuropathy after treatment with monochromatic infrared photo energy--MIRE

J Diabetes Complications. Mar-Apr 2006;20(2):81-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2005.06.002.

Abstract

The medical records of 2239 patients (mean age=73 years) with established peripheral neuropathy (PN) were examined to determine whether treatment with MIRE was, in fact, associated with increased foot sensitivity to the Semmes Weinstein monofilament (SWM) 5.07 and a reduction in neuropathic pain. The PN in 1395 of these patients (62%) was due to diabetes. Prior to treatment with MIRE, of the 10 tested sites (5 on each foot), 7.1+/-2.9 were insensitive to the SWM 5.07, and 2078 patients (93%) exhibited loss of protective sensation defined by Medicare as a loss of sensation at two or more sites on either foot. After treatment, the number of insensate sites on both feet decreased to 2.4+/-2.6, an improvement of 66%. Of the 2078 (93%) patients initially presenting with loss of protective sensation, 1106 (53%) no longer had loss of protective sensation after treatment (P<.0001); 1563 patients (70%) also exhibited neuropathic pain in addition to sensory impairment. Prior to treatment with MIRE, pain measured on the 11-point visual analogue scale (VAS) was 7.2+/-2.2 points, despite the use of a variety of pain-relieving therapeutic agents. After treatment with MIRE, pain was reduced by 4.8+/-2.4 points, a 67% reduction. Therefore, MIRE appears to be associated with significant clinical improvement in foot sensation and, simultaneously, a reduction in neuropathic pain in a large cohort of primarily Medicare aged, community-dwelling patients, initially diagnosed with PN. The quality of life associated with these two outcomes cannot be underappreciated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / therapy*
  • Female
  • Foot / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management*
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Sensation / radiation effects
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Treatment Outcome