Atlantic Endocrinology New York City

Why Is A Sudomotor Scan Done 

At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we know that statistics indicate that 70%-80% of all patients with chronic autoimmune and/or Endocrine Conditions develop Neuropathy.

Sudomotor Scans diagnose the onset of peripheral neuropathy before it has affected the major nerves.

This means that early detection allows you to delay or prevent the neuropathy from spreading to the nerves, therefore reducing the incidence of full-blown neuropathy, infections, and possible amputations.

This is a non-invasive, painless state-of-the-art test that gives instant results.

This test provides an accurate evaluation of sweat gland function.  The test focuses on small nerve fibers that innervate the sweat glands.  The degeneration of small nerve fibers reduces sweat gland innervation and impairs sudomotor function.

The test helps to measure the ability of the sweat glands to release chloride ions in response to an electrical stimulus on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, areas with the highest sweat gland density.

It provides a quantitative measure of chloride conductance and its results serve as a biomarker to assess sweat gland function.

The test results can be used as indicators for patients at risk of autonomic dysfunction through the measurement of Electrochemical Skin Conductance (ESC).

What Are The Benefits To A Sudomotor Scan?

A Sudomotor scan may be recommended for a number of reasons.

Ultimately, this diagnostic scan:

  • Provides important data related to the peripheral autonomic nervous system and the potential for painful neuropathy.
  • Facilitates the most accurate diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy compared to standardized testing.
  • Provides valuable information related to the cause of peripheral neuropathy.
  • Reaches high rates of sensitivity and specificity, related to the accuracy of test results.
  • Evaluates autonomic and somatic nerve function (shown to be one of the best estimates of cardiovascular risk)
  • Early intervention can greatly decrease the potential for severe and permanent nerve damage, which results in painful neuropathy.
  • Supports fast adjustments to therapeutic care since it provides data related to the physical response of a treatment protocol.

What are the reasons to get tested with SUDOSCAN?

Sudomotor dysfunction is recognized by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), American Diabetic Association (ADA) and American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) as a symptom of autonomic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes, Parkinson Disease, and amyloidosis for example. Sudomotor tests such as SUDOSCAN are used in the evaluation of autonomic and small fiber neuropathies.

SUDOSCAN is a fast and non-invasive test that can be used to establish a patient’s baseline, detect subclinical nerve damage, then evaluate clinically significant changes in medical status.

Research suggests that simple lifestyle changes can significantly improve sudomotor function as measured with SUDOSCAN and correlates with cardio-metabolic improvement.

Does gender play a factor in the results?

Evaluation of sudomotor function using other tests such as Quantitative Sudomotor Axon Reflex Test (QSART) has revealed that women generally have lower results (sweat output) than men.

This can be explained by lower sweat rates in women. Measurements performed by SUDOSCAN do not depend on sweat rate.

A study performed on more than 500 women and more than 200 men showed no significant differences in hand or feet ESC.


Does ethnicity play a role?

Sweat rates vary from individual to individual and do not influence the results of SUDOSCAN.

However, sweat gland physiology can vary by ethnicity and the effect this may have on SUDOSCAN results are under investigation.

Ongoing studies of large populations should clarify normative ranges for different ethnicities.

How do nerve conduction studies or EMG correlate with SUDOSCAN?

Nerve conduction studies (NCS, also known as EMG) measure the function of large, myelinated nerves.

They can be used for evaluating large motor or sensory nerves, but not the sensory nerves that are thin and unmyelinated – such as heat, cold, and pain perception.

SUDOSCAN measures the function of sweat gland sympathetic C-fibers. The function of these nerves correlates closely with small sensory nerves of the C-fiber variety.

However SUDOSCAN and nerve conduction studies are not likely to correlate since they measure 2 different categories of nerves.

Evaluation of sudomotor function in diabetes

One of the significant causes of nerve damage is diabetes. Diabetic patients suffer from metabolic impairment and related inflammatory processes.

As a result, their non-myelinated axons of small fiber nerves are primarily affected and known as Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy (DAN).

There are presently several clinical studies ongoing to validate SudoCheck’s new technology for DAN detection.

Small fiber nerves are early victims of diabetes

While symptoms remain sub-clinical, diabetes affects the peripheral nervous system, and small nerve fibers are usually the first victims.

SudoCheck was developed as a new device to follow up on complications related to diabetes.

Sudomotor Scan Results

The most valuable aspect of the Sudomotor scan is that it provides immediate and accurate information.

Using the Sudomotor scan, we are able to obtain valuable information without invasive technique and without waiting time.

This then enables us to act quickly to treat underlying conditions that could lead to damage in large nerve fibers.

If you have any questions or comments, or if you want to learn more about the services we provide, please contact us.