To assess the ability of vibration perception threshold (VPT) to predict the development of diabetic foot ulceration.
A prospective follow-up study of consecutive patients with vibration perception measured by biothesiometry from April 1988 to March 1989. Patients were stratified in various risk groups.
Patients with a VPT <15 V had a cumulative incidence of foot ulceration of 2.9% compared with 19.8% in patients with a VPT >25 V, odds ratio (OR) 7.99 (3.65–17.5, 95% confidence intervals), P < 0.01. The incidence of ulceration increased with duration of diabetes, but even with this effect removed, the excess of ulceration persisted, OR 6.82 (2.75–16.92), P < 0.01.
VPT is an effective predictor of the risk of foot ulceration in diabetes and therefore could be used to target foot-care education to those patients most likely to benefit and, thereby, possibly improve its effectiveness.