Glucose Metabolism Impaired in Chronic Neuropathies

Two-hour glucose tolerance test a better indicator of abnormalities

MONDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of patients with chronic neuropathic pain of unknown cause have impairments in glucose metabolism, with the two-hour oral glucose tolerance test (2h-OGTT) a better indicator than fasting plasma glucose levels, according to a study published online June 12 in the Archives of Neurology.

Charlene Hoffman-Snyder, M.S.N., and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., retrospectively analyzed the results of a fasting plasma glucose test and a 2h-OGTT from 100 consecutive patients with chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy of unknown cause. Patients had also undergone a complete neurological examination.

The researchers found that 62 percent of patients had abnormal fasting glucose metabolism compared with only 33 percent in the age-matched general population. Using the 2003 criteria from the American Diabetes Association, this was adjusted to 39 percent, which included three patients with undiagnosed diabetes mellitus. Sixty-two percent of patients had abnormal results for the 2h-OGTT, with 24 cases of undiagnosed diabetes mellitus.

"ThisÂ…adds to the increasing body of evidence that shows a higher prevalence of abnormal fasting glucose metabolism in patients with chronic idiopathic axonal polyneuropathy in comparison with an age-matched U.S. population," the authors conclude. "The use of the 2h-OGTT is still of greater value than the revised fasting plasma glucose values to detect impaired glucose metabolism in patients with chronic neuropathies of unknown cause."

Abstract
Full Text

Physician's Briefing