Sudoscans measure small nerve damage in the hands and feet

What is SUDOSCAN testing?

Sudoscan testing evaluates the early stages of distal small fiber neuropathy. This is done by evaluating endocrine glands which are responsible for the sweat response.

The sweat glands have a right supply of blood vessels as well as unmyelinated sympathetic C fibers of the autonomic nervous system.

In this regard, the test can also evaluate for autonomic dysfunction. Autonomic dysfunction can be seen in conditions such as diabetes mellitus, Parkinson’s disease, amyloidosis, and a wide variety of other conditions.

What is the examination like?

Prior to the examination hands and feet are cleaned. They must be dry prior to the start of the test. The patient may sit or stand for the scan.

The examination itself involves putting one’s hands and feet onto metallic plates which measure the galvanic skin response from sweat glands. The entire examination takes approximately 2-3 minutes. The examination is non-invasive.

What does it test?

The examination can be used to evaluate individuals who have the early stages of neuropathy as well as those individuals who complain of dizziness and lightheadedness which may be presenting symptoms of autonomic dysfunction.

The examination can also be utilized in assessing diabetic patients and glycemic control.

This examination is different from electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies in that it measures different nerve fibers.

Therefore, an EMG/NCV may not pick up the above issues, particularly at an early stage. A sudoscan may be done in conjunction with an EMG for a more in-depth assessment.

At times, the examination may need to be repeated in order to assess the severity of once condition or to assess treatment. This will typically be done after 3-6 months from the initial scan.

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