Tear biomarkers and corneal sensitivity as an indicator of neuropathy in type 2 diabetes

Meera F. Iyengar, Luis F. Soto, David Requena, Andrea O. Ruiz-Alejos, Yvonne Huaylinos, Ricardo Velasquez, Antonio Bernabe-Ortiz, Robert H. Gilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: Explore potential of 31 tear biomarkers involved in screening for diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). Assess the utility of aesthesiometry for measuring corneal damage in DPN and determine optimal cutoff point for detecting DPN. Methods: Screening test pilot study recruited 90 participants from a tertiary hospital in Lima, Peru. Participants were grouped by diabetes and neuropathy status. Tears collected on Schirmer strips, and proteins measured by both ELISA and multiplex-bead assay. Corneal sensitivity was measured by aesthesiometry, and DPN by vibration perception threshold testing. Results: There were 89 participants included in the analysis. The mean age was 55.7 ± 1.46, and 58.4% were female. MMP-9 and TGF-alpha concentrations were higher in participants with DPN versus diabetes alone, though not significant. Aesthesiometry was decreased in individuals with DPN when compared to participants with diabetes alone (p < 0.01) and normal controls (p < 0.01). Optimal cutoff point for aesthesiometry was found to be 5.8 cm, with 79% sensitivity and 75% specificity. Conclusions: Tears are an insufficient standalone tool for detecting DPN based on the biomarkers analyzed. Aesthesiometry is a simple, inexpensive, and accurate method to assess corneal damage associated with moderate-severe DPN, and its integration into screening practices has potential to improve detection of DPN in poor-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108143
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Volume163
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Aesthesiometry
  • Corneal neuropathy
  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Tear biomarkers
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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