What are the signs and symptoms of diabetic thoracic radiculoneuropathy?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Dianna Quan, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Diabetic thoracic radiculoneuropathy presents as burning, stabbing, boring, beltlike, or deep aching pain that usually begins unilaterally and may subsequently become bilateral. Skin hypersensitivity and allodynia (pain with normally innocuous touch) may occur. Numbness follows a dermatomal distribution, most prominent in distal distribution of intercostal nerves. Single or multiple spinal roots are involved. Contiguous territorial extension of symptoms may occur in a cephalad, caudal, or contralateral direction. In the trunk, thoracoabdominal neuropathy or radiculopathy may cause chest and/or abdominal pain in the distribution of thoracic and/or upper lumbar roots. Weakness presents in the distribution of the affected nerve root, such as bulging of the abdominal wall from abdominal muscle paresis (thoracic root). Patients older than 50 years are affected most often; it is more common in diabetes mellitus type 2 and is often associated with significant weight loss. There isoftencoexistingdiabeticdistalsymmetrical polyneuropathy.


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