The impact of glycemic variability on diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Endocrine. 2016 Sep;53(3):643-8. doi: 10.1007/s12020-016-1005-7. Epub 2016 Jul 6.


Mean glucose values alone cannot explain the patterns of morbidity and mortality due to dysglycemia in diabetes. Development of continuous glucose monitoring systems has improved the analysis and interpretation of glycemic variability. The roles of glycemic components other than constant hyperglycemia in diabetic complications must be investigated because large clinical studies have indicated that risk factors besides the average glucose value of HbA1c are involved in chronic macrocomplications/microcomplications of diabetes. Among these complications, the pathogenesis of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is particularly complex, and several factors related to glucose and nonglucose pathways have been suggested as risk factors. There is little information regarding the effect of glycemic variability on diabetic peripheral neuropathy, unlike other microvascular complications of retinopathy and nephropathy, and whether glycemic variability causes harmful effects is still a matter of debate. In this review, we discuss the relationships between glycemic variability and diabetic peripheral neuropathy, focusing on somatosensory peripheral neuropathies rather than autonomic neuropathies.

Keywords: Continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS); Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN); Glycemic variability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / blood*
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / blood*


  • Blood Glucose