To verify whether autonomic neuropathy (AN) complicating type I, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus affected neuroadrenergic bronchopulmonary innervation. PATIENTS: Twenty nonsmoking diabetic patients without respiratory diseases were studied: 11 patients with AN (group AN) and 9 patients without AN (control; group C) diagnosed by standardized criteria. DESIGN: Patients underwent respiratory function tests and ventilatory scintigraphies with (123)I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) and with (99m)Tc-diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid (DTPA) to assess both bronchopulmonary neuroadrenergic innervation and also permeability of the alveolar-capillary barrier to water-soluble tracers. Rates of pulmonary clearance of the two tracers were computed, and correlates were identified by nonparametric statistics. SETTING: University hospital. RESULTS: The AN and C groups had normal respiratory function test results and comparable duration of diabetes and quality of metabolic control. (99m)Tc-DTPA clearance did not distinguish the groups. (123)I-MIBG clearance was faster in the AN group than in the C group (mean +/- SD half-time of the radiotracer time-activity curve [T(1/2)], 116.1 +/- 22.8 min in the AN group vs 139.5 +/- 18.3 min in the C group, p = 0.022), which is consistent with neuroadrenergic denervation in the AN group. (123)I-MIBG clearance was independent from (99m)Tc-DTPA clearance. Faster (123)I-MIBG clearance was significantly associated with worse performance in three of the four autonomic tests. CONCLUSIONS: Neuroadrenergic bronchopulmonary denervation may occur in diabetic patients with AN despite normal clinical and respiratory function findings. Further research is needed to identify clinical and prognostic implications of these findings.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
- diabetes mellitus