Comparison of distal sympathetic with vagal function in diabetic neuropathy

Phillip A. Low, Bruce R. Zimmerman, Peter J. Dyck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


We measured distal sympathetic and vagal function in 73 consecutive patients with diabetic neuropathy seen at the Mayo Autonomic Reflex Laboratory. Postganglionic sympathetic failure measured proximally within the foot occurred as commonly as vagal failure (58% and 55%, respectively) and‐occurred much more frequently than did orthostatic hypotension (26%). Either vagal or distal sympathetic abnormalities occurred in isolation in about one in six patients with diabetic neuropathy. We conclude that distal sympathetic failure and vagal failure occur with equal frequency when sensitive and quantitative recording methods are used and that it is advantageous to test both systems, as only one may be involved in some patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-596
Number of pages5
JournalMuscle & Nerve
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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