Diabetic neuropathy is a descriptive term covering many clinical types or syndromes of neural damage. It is the most common chronic complication of diabetes and is responsible for a large amount of morbidity.
‘Subclinical neuropathy’ – is found on electrophysiological testing, but no evidence of it on clinical examination. Progression is through initial biochemical abnormalities in the nerve (accumulation of sorbitol, oedema, depletion of myo-inositol) to impairment in nerve conduction (asymptomatic) to clinical neuropathy.
Classification is based on clinical types, but can be difficult due to the variety of presentations and the clinical overlap: