Neuropathy Test

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Wed, 06/23/2010

Neuropathy diagnosis test begins by examining blood pressure, heart rate, reflexes, and sensitivity to position change, vibration, temperature, or light touch.

Peripheral neuropathy test and diagnosis

Peripheral neuropathy is a diagnosis by physical and neurological examination such as checking tendon reflexes, muscle strength & tone, sensitivity and co-ordination & balance.

The doctor may test your bloods to find the level of vitamin B-12 and thyroid function test.

Other important nerve tests include

  • Nerve conduction study; check the flow of electrical current through a nerve. With this test, an image of the nerve impulse is available on a screen as it transmits an electrical signal. Impulses that seem slower or weaker than usual indicate possible damage to the nerve. This test allows the doctor to assess the condition of all the nerves in the arms and legs.
  • Electromyography (EMG) is useful to see how well muscles can respond to electrical impulses transmitted by the nearby nerves. The electrical activity of the muscle can be available on a screen. A response that is slower or weaker than usual suggests damage to the nerve or muscle. This test is often carryout at the same time as nerve conduction studies.
  • EEG measures electrical activities of the brain, and it is useful to evaluate brain’s function and to detect seizure disorders.
  • Spinal tap is useful to analyze cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This test is to detect any infectious disease (e.g., meningitis), low or high levels of CSF, and to detect abnormal protein levels. Collect and analyze the cerebrospinal fluid by inserting a needle between two lumbar (lower spine) vertebrae.

Autonomic neuropathy test and diagnosis

  • Breathing tests to measure how heart rate and blood pressure respond to breathe such as the Valsalva maneuver, in which exhale forcibly.
  • Tilt-table test to monitors how blood pressure and heart rate respond to changes in posture (position), simulating what occurs when stand up from lying position. Lie flat on a table, which tilted to raise the upper part of the body. Normally, the body compensates for the drop in blood pressure that occurs when stand up by narrowing the blood vessels and increasing heart rate. The response is slowed or abnormal if autonomic neuropathy.
  • Gastrointestinal tests - Gastric emptying tests are the most common test to check for slowed movement of food through the digestive system.
  • Quantitative Sudomotor Axon Reflex Test (QSART) evaluates how the nerves that regulate your sweat glands respond to electrical stimulation. Test for low or over sweat gland secretion.
  • Thermoregulatory sweat test by coating with a powder that changes color when sweat and take you to chamber with slowly increasing temperature. The body temperature increases 1 to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which makes most people sweat. Sweat pattern helps to confirm the diagnosis of autonomic neuropathy or other causes for low or over sweating.
  • Ultrasound test diagnoses any physical abnormality in bladder and urinary tract by high-frequency non-audible sound wave imaging.