22nd Annual Scientific & Clinical Congress of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists:

Measuring Sweat Gland Conductance: Non-invasive Device Detects Diabetic Neuropathy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a device capable of testing for neuropathy in patients with diabetes (Sudoscan, Impeto Medical, San Diego, CA).  Diabetes is one of the leading causes of nerve damage and neuropathies that may necessitate lower limb amputation, and increase the risk for falls and fractures.

Neuropathy can alter innervation of sweat glands affecting conductance (eg, hands, feet). The device quantitatively measures sweat gland function and detects poor electrochemical skin conductance (ESC).  The test is non-invasive and can be performed in the clinical setting providing results in about three minutes.       
Abstract data presented showed patients with diabetic neuropathy displayed poor ESC as compared to patients without neuropathy.
  • Feet: 56.3 vs 75.9 (P<.005)
  • Hands: 51.9 vs 67.5 (P<.005)
  • Neuropathy Impairment Score, Feet: 7 vs 2.8 (P<.0001)
  • Neuropathy Impairment Score, Hands: 5.7 vs 2.6 (P<.0001)

Larger and diverse demographic studies are needed to further assess this technology for early neuropathic screening in patients with diabetes.
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