Parasympathetic autonomic neuropathy in diabetes mellitus: the heart is denervated more often than the pupil

Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1994 Dec;34(8):467-9.


In one hundred subjects with diabetes mellitus assessed by the techniques of power spectral analysis of heart rate variability and heart rate variability during deep breathing, parasympathetic (vagal) cardiac denervation was shown to occur approximately twice as commonly as parasympathetic pupillary denervation measured by the maximal velocity of pupillary constriction. The pupillary dysfunction was detectable only when both tests of cardiac innervation were abnormal as well. No correlation was found between any of the autonomic measures and duration of known diabetes or degree of metabolic control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Heart / innervation*
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperventilation / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Pupil / physiology*
  • Reflex, Abnormal / physiology
  • Reflex, Pupillary / physiology
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Time Factors
  • Vagus Nerve / physiopathology