Article Abstract

Shear wave elastography evaluation of the median and tibial nerve in diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Authors: Ying He, Xi Xiang, Bi-Hui Zhu, Li Qiu


Background: To evaluate the value of shear wave elastography (SWE) in the detection of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) of the median and tibial nerves.
Methods: The study included 40 DPN patients, 40 diabetic mellitus (DM) patients without DPN, and 40 healthy subjects. High-resolution ultrasonography (US) and SWE were performed on the median nerve (MN) and tibial nerve (TN), and cross-sectional area (CSA) and nerve stiffness were measured. ROC analysis was also performed.
Results: The patients with DPN demonstrated higher stiffness of the median and tibial nerve compared with that of healthy volunteers and DM patients (P<0.001). Bilateral analysis showed that there was no significant difference in nerve stiffness between the left and right median nerves and tibial nerves in DPN patients (P>0.05). The stiffness of median nerve and tibial nerve in each one side also had no significant difference in patients with DPN (P>0.05). The CSA of the tibial nerve in the DPN group was significantly larger than that in the other groups (P<0.001), while there was no significant difference of median nerve CSA among the three groups (P>0.05). The area under curve (AUC) of SWE (MN: 0.899, TN: 0.927) to diagnose DPN was significantly greater than that of CSA (TN: 0.798). The optimal cut-off value in SWE of the tibial nerve and median nerve for diagnosis of DPN was 4.11 and 4.06 m/s, respectively, with a good sensitivity and specificity.
Conclusions: Median and tibial nerve stiffness was significantly higher in patients with DPN. These findings suggest that SWE-based stiffness measurement of the nerve was a better method than CSA, and it can be used as another effective assistant method in the diagnosis of DPN.