Fifty-one diabetic patients with mononeuropathy were studied to examine possible etiological factors, to determine the relationship with other diabetic complications, and to correlate with the presence and severity of background peripheral and autonomic neuropathy. The median, ulnar, and lateral popliteal nerves were most commonly affected and cranial neuropathy was relatively uncommon. When bilateral involvement of the same nerve was excluded, multiple mononeuropathies were found in only five patients. Median and ulnar mononeuropathy were gradual in onset and affected the dominant limb whereas other types of mononeuropathies were acute In onset with no predilection for either side. No consistent relationship was shown between the onset of mononeuropathy and age, sex, diabetic treatment, duration of diabetes, diabetic control, or other diabetic complications. In particular, there was no significant background peripheral and autonomic neuropathy, as assessed clinically and by objective tests, in almost one-half of the patients studied. It is concluded that diabetic mononeuropathy may occur independently of peripheral and autonomic neuropathy. It is possible, however, that a minimal degree of background damage, known to be present in all diabetic patients, may render them more susceptible than the general population to the various factors causing mononeuropathy.

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