Strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of neuropathic pain secondary to diabetic peripheral sensory polyneuropathy

V Guastella, G Mick
Diabetes & Metabolism 2009, 35 (1): 12-9
This article proposes a strategy for the diagnosis and treatment of neuropathic pain due to diabetic peripheral sensory neuropathy, based on 15 years of experience in French pain-management centres and on the available literature. In the diabetic patient with chronic pain in the lower limbs, the first step in the diagnostic process is to identify the neuropathic origin of the pain. The second step is to evaluate the patient's medical history and make a rigorous baseline assessment of the neuropathic pain symptoms to determine an effective pain-management strategy. In the third step, adequate and well-tolerated treatment directed towards a variety of painful symptoms is selected, taking into account other co-morbidities such as anxiety and depression. This report reports on the clinical aspects of neuropathic pain exhibited by patients with diabetic sensory polyneuropathy, and the key factors in their diagnosis and treatment, based on the results of meta-analyses and on a recent expert consensus.

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