Foot temperature in type 2 diabetic patients with or without peripheral neuropathy

Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2009 Jan;117(1):44-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1081498. Epub 2008 Aug 25.


The aim of this study was to evaluate foot temperature in type 2 diabetic patients with vs. without peripheral neuropathy. The study included 30 patients (group A: 16 men, mean age 63.23+/-7.02 years) with peripheral neuropathy and 30 patients (group B: 17 men, mean age 62.37+/-6.73 years) without peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy was diagnosed by the Diabetic Neuropathy Index (DNI). Foot temperature was measured with a handheld infrared thermometer (KM 814, Kane-May, UK) on the mid-dorsal aspect of the foot (dorsal temperature) and on the plantar aspect of the foot at the level of the first metatarsal head (plantar temperature). Dorsal temperature was significantly higher in group A than in group B (right foot 32.89+/-1.02 degrees C vs. 31.2+/-1.07 degrees C, p<0.001). The same significant difference was observed for the plantar temperature (32.2+/-0.94 degrees C vs. 30.7+/-1.07 degrees C, p<0.001). In both groups, a significant positive correlation was observed between dorsal and plantar temperature (group A: r (s)=0.913, p<0.001; group B: r (s)=0.956, p<0.001). Finally, in group A, DNI score showed a significant positive correlation with dorsal temperature (r (s)=0.856, p<0.001), as well as plantar temperature (r (s)=0.859, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Foot temperature is significantly higher in type 2 diabetic patients with neuropathy as compared to those without neuropathy. In patients with neuropathy, a significant positive correlation is observed between foot temperature and clinical severity of neuropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Temperature
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Foot / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Foot / physiopathology*
  • Foot Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Foot Ulcer / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thermometers