Association between visceral, cardiac and sensorimotor polyneuropathies in diabetes mellitus

Eirik Søfteland, Christina Brock, Jens B. Frøkjær, Jan Brøgger, László Madácsy, Odd H. Gilja, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Magnus Simrén, Asbjørn M. Drewes, Georg Dimcevski

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Aims Gastrointestinal complaints are common in diabetes mellitus. However, its association to peripheral sensorimotor and autonomic neuropathies is not well investigated. The aim was to assess skin, muscle, bone and visceral sensitivity in diabetes patients with sensorimotor neuropathy, and correlate these with gastrointestinal symptoms and degree of cardiac autonomic neuropathy. Methods Twenty patients with sensorimotor neuropathy (65% type 2 diabetes, aged 58.3 ± 12.0 years, diabetes duration 15.8 ± 10.0 years) and 16 healthy controls were recruited. Cutaneous sensitivity to von Frey filaments, mechanical allodynia, muscle/bone/rectosigmoid sensitivities, and heart rate variability were examined. Gastrointestinal symptom scores (PAGI-SYM) and health-related quality of life (SF-36) were also recorded. Results Patients displayed hypesthesia to von Frey filaments (p = 0.028), but no difference to muscle and bone pain sensitivities. Also, patients were hyposensitive to multimodal rectal stimulations (all p < 0.05), although they suffered more gastrointestinal complaints. Heart rate variability was reduced in the patient cohort. Rectal mechanical and cutaneous sensitivities correlated (p < 0.001), and both were associated with heart rate variability as well as PAGI-SYM and SF-36 scores (p < 0.01). Conclusions In diabetic sensorimotor neuropathy there is substantial evidence of concomitant cutaneous, cardiac and visceral autonomic neuropathies. The neuropathy may reduce quality of life and explain the higher prevalence of gastrointestinal complaints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-377
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Diabetes and its Complications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Autonomic Neuropathy
  • Diabetes
  • Experimental
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Pain
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Visceral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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    Søfteland, E., Brock, C., Frøkjær, J. B., Brøgger, J., Madácsy, L., Gilja, O. H., Arendt-Nielsen, L., Simrén, M., Drewes, A. M., & Dimcevski, G. (2014). Association between visceral, cardiac and sensorimotor polyneuropathies in diabetes mellitus. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, 28(3), 370-377.