Proximal Neuropathic Lesions in Distal Symmetric Diabetic Polyneuropathy: Findings of high-resolution magnetic resonance neurography


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Abstract

OBJECTIVEThis study investigated high-resolution magnetic resonance neurography (MRN) in distal symmetric diabetic polyneuropathy (dPNP).RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSMRN comprised high-resolution transaxial imaging of peripheral nerves of the lower limbs in 20 patients with type 2 diabetes (10 with dPNP, type 2/dPNP[+], and 10 without dPNP, type 2/dPNP[−]), seven patients with type 1 diabetes (two with dPNP, type 1/dPNP[+], five without dPNP, type 1/dPNP[−]), and 10 nondiabetic control subjects. Intraneural T2 lesions, as the main diagnostic criterion of MRN, were detected visually by two independent observers and quantitatively by analysis of T2 contrast ratios.RESULTSMultifocal fascicular, symmetric intraneural T2 lesions occurred in the proximal trunks of sciatic nerves in four patients (three with type 2/dPNP[+] and one with type 1/dPNP[+]) but not in control subjects (type 2/dPNP[−], type 1/dPNP[−], nondiabetic control subjects), which was confirmed by quantitative analysis. Clinical severity was higher in patients with T2 lesions (neuropathy deficit score: 10 vs. 7.8; P = 0.05).CONCLUSIONSFor the first time, proximal neuropathic lesions of dPNP are reported in vivo. This supports that accumulation of proximal, multifocal fascicular injury may be important in disease progression.

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