Relationships between electrochemical skin conductance and kidney disease in Type 2 diabetes

Freedman BI, Bowden DW, Smith SC, Xu J, Divers J.

J Diab and its Complic 2014;28(1):56-60

Full Article

Abstract

Background

SUDOSCAN® non-invasively measures peripheral small fiber and autonomic nerve activity using electrochemical skin conductance. Since neuropathy and nephropathy are microvascular Type 2 diabetes (T2D) complications, relationships between skin conductance, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and urine albumin:creatinine ratio (UACR) were assessed.

Methods

Two hundred five African Americans (AA) with T2D, 93 AA non-diabetic controls, 185 European Americans (EA) with T2D, and 73 EA non-diabetic controls were evaluated. Linear models were fitted stratified by population ancestry and T2D, adjusted for covariates.

Results

Relative to EA, AA had lower skin conductance (T2D cases p < 0.0001; controls p < 0.0001). Skin conductance was also lower in T2D cases vs. controls in each population (p < 0.0001, AA and EA). Global skin conductance was significantly associated with eGFR in AA and EA with T2D; adjusting for age, gender, BMI, and HbA1c, positive association was detected between skin conductance and eGFR in AA T2D cases (parameter estimate 3.38, standard error 1.2; p = 5.2E−3), without association in EA T2D cases (p = 0.22).

Conclusions

Noninvasive measurement of skin conductance strongly associated with eGFR in AA with T2D, replicating results in Hong Kong Chinese. SUDOSCAN® may prove useful as a low cost, non-invasive screening tool to detect undiagnosed diabetic kidney disease in populations of African ancestry.

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