From the Journals

Sensitivity of vibration-based neuropathy detectors varies widely



The VibraTip device is available for about $90 on Amazon. The cost of a neurothesiometer is listed by one medical supply company as $2,850. Prices for 128-Hz tuning forks vary on Amazon, with prices listed from $6 to $40.

The study researchers did not confirm neuropathy via more sophisticated neurologic testing, so it remains unclear which device is actually the most accurate at detecting cases of neuropathy.

Still, “the findings of this study suggest that use of only one screening tool to assess vibration perception is likely to yield high false negative results,” the researchers wrote. “We recommend that peripheral neuropathy in patients with diabetes should be assessed utilizing two or more modalities.”

Dr. Nachiappan Chockalingam of the University of Malta and Staffordshire University,

Dr. Nachiappan Chockalingam

If results don’t concur, neurologic testing may be appropriate, study senior author Nachiappan Chockalingam, PhD, also of the University of Malta and Staffordshire University, said in an interview.

Moving forward, Dr. Chockalingam said, the research team plans to launch “a structured clinical trial using a gold-standard tool such as nerve conduction testing to confirm which simple screening method best detects neuropathy.”

No study funding was reported. The authors reported no relevant disclosures.

SOURCE: Azzopardia K et al. Prim Care Diabetes. 2018 Apr;12(2):111-5.

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