Assessment of sudomotor function in hypertensive with/without type-2 diabetes patients using SUDOSCAN: An electrophysiological study

Clin Neurophysiol Pract. 2020 Dec 13;6:22-28. doi: 10.1016/j.cnp.2020.12.001. eCollection 2021.


Objective: Electrochemical skin conductance (ESC) test is a simple and non-invasive screening test can detect dysfunction of the peripheral sudomotor, and indirectly estimates the function of cardiac autonomic nerves. This study aimed to assess the ESC values in hypertensive patients with/without type-2 diabetes by using SUDOSCAN technology. Moreover, this study evaluated the role of cardiometabolic risk factors on the results of ESC test.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried on three groups of participants, including healthy subjects (Group I, n = 49), hypertensive without type-2 diabetes (Group II, n = 75) patients, and hypertensive with type-2 diabetes (Group III, n = 76) patients. Body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure index), fasting serum glucose, and lipid profile were determined. ESC test as a measurement sudomotor function was determined by applying a small direct current at low voltage to hands and feet sensor plates through SUDOSCAN device.

Results: ESC values of the peripheral sudomotor nerves in the Group II and III patients were significantly lower than the corresponding values of Group I. SUDOSCAN results of Group II and III. Significant discriminators of cardiac autonomic neuropathy (≥30 score) that determined by the area under the curve (AUC) with 95% confidence interval (95% C.I.) were, duration of the disease, BMI, and mean blood pressure in Group II, while the duration of the disease and the BMI were significant discriminators in Group III.

Conclusions: SUDOSCAN is a simple, useful device, which can detect the impairment of peripheral autonomic small nerve fibers and the risk of cardiac autonomic neuropathy in hypertension. Moreover, the duration of the disease and the associated cardiometabolic risk factors are important predictors of significant SUDOSCAN findings.

Significance: ESC test is useful in detecting subclinical neuropathy in hypertensive patients as well as in type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: Cardiometabolic risk factors; Electrochemical skin conductance; Hypertension; SUDOSCAN; Type-2 diabetes.