Ulnar Neuropathy at Elbow in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Gunduz A., Candan F., Asan F., Uslu F., Uzun N., Karaali-Savrun F., ...More

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NEUROPHYSIOLOGY, vol.37, no.3, pp.220-224, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/wnp.0000000000000629
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.220-224
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose:In diabetes mellitus (DM), upper extremity entrapment neuropathies are suggested to be a component of polyneuropathy (PNP). Our aim is to examine the presence of ulnar neuropathy at the elbow (UNE) and its relation to other findings including PNP in symptomatic and asymptomatic type-2 DM patients who were admitted for routine examinations.Methods:The study included all cases referred for electromyography because of type-2 DM between November 2017 and May 2018. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded. Routine electromyography examinations in all cases included the following: bilateral motor conduction of the median, ulnar, peroneal, and tibial nerves and sensory conduction of the median, ulnar, and sural nerves. For ulnar nerve examination, stimuli were given at the wrist, below the elbow, and above the elbow. Electrophysiological findings were evaluated according to the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine criteria.Results:Eighty-two patients with type-2 DM and 144 upper extremities were included in the study. Of the 82 patients who participated in the study, 3 had findings suggesting ulnar neuropathy, and electrophysiology confirmed UNE in only one. Electrophysiological studies showed UNE in 36 patients. Other diagnoses identified by electrophysiology were carpal tunnel syndrome and PNP. Ulnar neuropathy at the elbow was more commonly associated with PNP compared with carpal tunnel syndrome. Gender and PNP were independent risk factors for the development of UNE.Conclusions:Although the majority of diabetic patients were asymptomatic for the UNE, approximately one third of all patients with DM were found to have UNE. Ulnar neuropathy at the elbow is closely related with PNP.