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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2017, Article ID 8787261, 12 pages
Review Article

Diagnostic Accuracy of Monofilament Tests for Detecting Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Rehabilitation Medicine Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
2West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
3Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong
4Rui Jin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yonghong Yang; nc.ude.ucs@elocin and Pu Wang; moc.621@30_upgnaw

Received 19 April 2017; Accepted 6 July 2017; Published 8 October 2017

Academic Editor: Konstantinos Papatheodorou

Copyright © 2017 Fengyi Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To systematically evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of monofilament tests for detecting diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Methods. We searched EMBASE (OvidSP), MEDLINE (OvidSP), the Cochrane Library, and Web of Science to identify diagnostic accuracy trials of monofilament tests for detecting diabetic peripheral neuropathy. We used a hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristics (HSROC) model to conduct the meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy of monofilament tests for detecting diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Results. A total of 19 comparative trials met the inclusion criteria and were part of the qualitative synthesis. Eight trials using nerve conduction studies as the reference standard were selected for the meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of monofilament tests for detecting diabetic peripheral neuropathy were 0.53 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.32 to 0.74) and 0.88 (95% CI 0.78 to 0.94), respectively. The pooled positive likelihood ratio and negative likelihood ratio were 4.56 (95% CI 2.93 to 7.10) and 0.53 (95% CI 0.35 to 0.81), respectively. Conclusions. Our review indicated that monofilament tests had limited sensitivity for screening diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The clinical use of the monofilament test in the evaluation of diabetic peripheral neuropathy cannot be encouraged based on currently available evidence.