Aims: The Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI) is used to assess distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy in diabetes. It includes two separate assessments: a 15-item self-administered questionnaire and a lower extremity examination that includes inspection and assessment of vibratory sensation and ankle reflexes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of the MNSI in detecting distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy in patients with Type 1 diabetes and to develop new scoring algorithms.
Methods: The MNSI was performed by trained personnel at each of the 28 Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications clinical sites. Neurologic examinations and nerve conduction studies were performed during the same year. Confirmed clinical neuropathy was defined by symptoms and signs of distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy based on the examination of a neurologist and abnormal nerve conduction findings in ≥ 2 anatomically distinct nerves among the sural, peroneal and median nerves.
Results: We studied 1184 subjects with Type 1 diabetes. Mean age was 47 years and duration of diabetes was 26 years. Thirty per cent of participants had confirmed clinical neuropathy, 18% had ≥ 4 and 5% had ≥ 7 abnormal responses on the MNSI questionnaire, and 33% had abnormal scores (≥ 2.5) on the MNSI examination. New scoring algorithms were developed and cut points defined to improve the performance of the MNSI questionnaire, examination and the combination of the two.
Conclusions: Altering the cut point to define an abnormal test from ≥ 7 abnormal to ≥ 4 abnormal items improves the performance of the MNSI questionnaire. The MNSI is a simple, non-invasive and valid measure of distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy in Type 1 diabetes.
Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.