, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 259-262

Presence of carpal tunnel syndrome in diabetics: Effect of age, sex, diabetes duration and polyneuropathy

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Summary

Common thought is that diabetic neuropathy is a predisposing factor to entrapment syndromes. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most frequent entrapment neuropathy; females and old people are most frequently affected (Comi et al., 1978). Prevalence of CTS in diabetics and associated risk factors were studied in 401 patients (208 males and 193 females) with insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes using electrophysiological techniques. Median nerve sensory and motor conduction velocity, ulnar and peroneal nerve motor conduction velocity and sural nerve sensory conduction velocity were investigated in all patients. Diagnostic criteria for CTS were the presence of delayed median nerve sensory conduction velocity in the palm-wrist tract and of increased distal motor latency. Polyneuropathy was defined by slowing-down of conduction velocity in two or more nerves. Forty-five patients (11.2%), 36 females and 9 males, showed CTS. One-hundred-sixty-eight patients (41.8%), 74 females and 94 males, were suffering from peripheral neuropathy. The strongest risk factors for CTS, in order of importance, were: female sex, older age and presence of neuropathy. Polyneuropathy but not CTS was related to duration of diabetes.