Purpose: The objective was to investigate the association between corneal sensitivity and established measures of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN).
Methods: Corneal sensitivity was measured in 93 individuals with diabetes, 146 diabetic individuals without neuropathy and 61 control individuals without diabetes or neuropathy using a non-contact corneal aesthesiometer at the baseline visit of a five-year longitudinal natural history study of DPN. The correlation between corneal sensitivity and established measures of neuropathy was estimated and multi-dimensional scaling was used to represent similarities and dissimilarities between variables.
Results: The corneal sensitivity threshold was significantly correlated with a majority of established measures of DPN. Correlation coefficients ranged from -0.32 to 0.26. Using multi-dimensional scaling, non-contact corneal aesthesiometry was closer to the neuropathy disability score, diabetic neuropathy symptom score and Neuropad and most dissimilar to electrophysiological parameters and quantitative sensory testing.
Conclusion: Corneal sensitivity, although not strongly related, is associated with other functional measures of DPN and might provide a useful adjunct in identifying functional loss of small nerve fibre integrity.
© 2012 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Optometry © 2012 Optometrists Association Australia.