Temporal trend of small nerve fibre degeneration in people with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus

Linnéa Ekman, Kaveh Pourhamidi, Elisabet Englund, Neil Lagali, Olov Rolandsson, Lars B. Dahlin

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Aims: We investigated the long-term temporal trend of intraepidermal nerve fibre density (IENFD) and the association between changes in IENFD and metabolic factors in individuals with and without type 2 diabetes. Methods: A total of 66 participants were enrolled in this longitudinal population-based study, at baseline consisting of 35 individuals (median 61 years) without diabetes and 31 individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Participants underwent clinical and electrophysiological examinations, as well as a skin biopsy both at baseline and at the follow-up visit (mean 8.1 ± 0.5 years). IENFD was assessed in thin sections of 5 μm, stained with the protein gene product 9.5-antibody and compared between the groups. Results: IENFD decreased during the period in both groups, with a greater decline in the group without diabetes than in type 2 diabetes (−2.3 and −0.6 fibres/mm respectively; p < 0.001). While IENFD at baseline was significantly reduced in type 2 diabetes relative to people without (p < 0.001), no difference in IENFD was found between groups at the follow-up (p = 0.183). Linear mixed model analysis indicated that age, weight and HbA1c were associated with decrease in IENFD in the total population (p < 0.007). IENFD also decreased with increasing age and weight, but not with HbA1c, in the separate groups (p < 0.049). Conclusions: Despite lower IENFD levels at baseline in type 2 diabetes, IENFD was equal between the groups at follow-up. A decrease in IENFD is to a limited extent affected by body weight, and HbA1c, but age seems to be the long-term determinant of IENFD in an elderly population.

TidskriftDiabetic Medicine
Tidigt onlinedatum2021 sep.
StatusPublished - 2022

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Endokrinologi och diabetes


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