Korean Diabetes Journal 2002;26(6):481-489.
Published online December 1, 2002.
Differences in Dynamic Plantar Pressure in Type 2 Diabetics with or without Peripheral Neuropathy.
Gui Hwa Jeong, Ju Young Lee, Shin Won Lee, Chang Hoon Choi, Soon Hee Lee, Jung Guk Kim, Sung Woo Ha, Bo Wan Kim
Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University, School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Foot ulcers, and lower-extremity amputations, are relatively common complications of diabetes mellitus and their clinical management is very important. High plantar pressure is known to be a major risk factor of foot ulceration in diabetic patients. The EMED-system is used for the assessment of pressure distribution for the identification of focal areas at high risk of ulceration that merit protection from preventive footwear. However, a potential relationship between diabetic neuropathy and the plantar pressure has not been fully evaluated. Changes in the plantar pressure were measured in diabetic patients, both with and without peripheral polyneuropathy, using the EMED - AT system to clarify if diabetic neuropathy increases the plantar pressure. METHODS: Ninety seven patients with type 2 diabetes were divided into two groups on the basis of their peripheral polyneuropathy. No patient had a past history of foot ulceration. The clinical characteristics of 2 groups were analyzed, and their plantar pressures was measured using the EMED - AT system. These results were analyzed, with the EMED software program, after their division into ten masks for a so-called "regional analysis". The pressure time (PTI) and force- time (FTI) integrals were analyzed for each mask on both feet. RESULTS: The diabetic neuropathy (DN) group showed significantly higher FTI levels in both masks 05 (area of the 1st metatarsal head) and masks 08 (area of the hallux) than the diabetic control (DC) group. The PTI was also higher in right the mask 08 of the DN group than in the DC group. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that peripheral neuropathy to be an important risk factor, and predictor of diabetic foot ulcers, due to the increasing plantar pressure in some areas of the foot. Measurement of the plantar pressure may be a useful method for the diagnosis and monitoring of foot disorders in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy.
Key Words: Plantar pressure, Diabetic neuropathy, Foot ulcer

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