OBJECTIVE: Existing physical examination scoring systems for distal diabetic polyneuropathy (PNP) do not fulfill all of the following criteria: validity, manageability, predictive value, and hierarchy The aim of this study was to adapt the Neuropathy Disability Score (NDS) to diagnose PNP in diabetes so that it fulfills these criteria. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 73 patients with diabetes were examined with the NDS. Monofilaments and biothesiometry were used as clinical standards for PNP to modify the NDS. RESULTS: A total of 43 men and 30 women were studied; mean duration of diabetes was 15 years (1-43), and mean age was 57 years (19-90). A total of 24 patients had type 1 diabetes, and 49 patients had type 2 diabetes. Clinically relevant items were selected from the original 35 NDS items (specific item scored positive in >3 patients). The resulting 8-item Diabetic Neuropathy Examination (DNE) score could accurately predict the results of the clinical standards and is strongly hierarchical (H value 0.53). The sensitivity and specificity of the DNE at a cut-off level of 3 to 4 were 0.96 and 0.51 for abnormal monofilament scores, respectively. For abnormal vibration perception threshold scores, these values were 0.97 and 0.59, respectively. Reproducibility as assessed by inter- and intrarater agreement was good. CONCLUSIONS: The DNE is a sensitive and well-validated hierarchical scoring system that is fast and easy to perform in clinical practice.

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