The possibility of whether minimal F-wave latency and a simple ratio between the sural and superficial radial sensory response amplitudes may provide a useful electrodiagnostic test in diabetic patients was investigated in this report. To evaluate the diagnostic sensitivity of minimal F-wave latency, the Z-scores of the minimal F-wave latency, motor nerve conduction velocity (MCV), amplitude of compound muscle action potentials (CMAP), and distal latency (DL) of the median, ulnar, tibial, and peroneal nerve were compared in 37 diabetic patients. For the median, ulnar, and tibial nerves, the Z scores of the minimal F-wave latency were significantly larger than those of the MCV. In addition for all four motor nerves, the Z scores of the minimal F-wave latency were significantly larger than those for the CMAP amplitude. Furthermore, 19 subjects showing abnormal results in the standard sensory nerve conduction study had a significantly lower sural/radial amplitude ratio (SRAR), and 84% of them had an SRAR of less than 0.5. In conclusion, minimal F-wave latency and the ratio between the amplitudes of the sural and superficial radial sensory nerve action potential are sensitive measures for the detection of nerve pathology and should be considered in electrophysiologic studies of diabetic polyneuropathy.
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