Why is it important to identify Peripheral Autonomic Neuropathy?
Peripheral Autonomic Neuropathy (PAN) is a group of symptoms, rather than a specific disease, that occur when there is damage to the nerves that manage everyday body functions. Early assessment of peripheral autonomic dysfunction may identify patients at high risk for cardiac autonomic neuropathy, which may lead to potentially life-threatening outcomes.
Why test your sweat glands?
Sweat glands are controlled by small nerve fibers within the autonomic nervous system – part of the nervous system that regulates involuntary function. These fibers can be affected at the early stage of different metabolic diseases. Sweat response may be the most sensitive test in detecting distal small fiber neuropathy.
What is Sudoscan®?
Sudoscan® evaluates sweat gland function through a process called galvanic skin response. Sudoscan® measures the ability of the sweat glands to release chloride in response to a small electrical stimulus on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Sudoscan’s focus on the small nerve fibers within the autonomic nervous system, and their ability to quickly regenerate, allows for the monitoring of disease progression and can help gauge if your treatment plan is right for you.
How does it work?
A small electrical current is applied to both hand and foot sensor plates. The chloride ion conductance is quantified and acts as a biomarker to assess the activity of the sweat glands and the small nerve fibers that activate them. The amount of observed asymmetry between right and left sides helps identify the type of peripheral neuropathy when utilized in conjunction with other testing parameters.
What information does Sudoscan® provide?
Patient results will automatically generate after the completion of each scan. Measured conductance values and % asymmetry between right and left sides are quantified. This information is used to determine whether or not a patient’s small nerve fibers have been affected. A follow-up recommendation is provided based upon your Sudoscan® results. Your physician can utilize this complementary information to assist with their examination when Peripheral Autonomic Neuropathy is suspected.
Sudoscan® Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the scan take?
Less than 3 minutes.
Is the scan painful?
At most, some patients have experienced a slight tingling sensation on either the palms of their hands or soles of their feet.
Do I need to prepare for the scan?
No patient preparation is needed. A patient only has to remove lotion from their hands and/or feet, if applied.
Does age or gender play a factor with my scan results?
Do either high or low amounts of sweating affect my scan results?
Sudoscan® measures chloride conductance by an electrochemical reaction. The actual volume of sweat does not impact the test result.
Is Sudoscan the same as a Nerve Conduction Study (NCS)?
Sudoscan® measures the function of the small nerves that activate sweat glands. Nerve conduction studies measure large nerve fibers.
Will exercise immediately before a scan impact my test results?
Studies have confirmed that Sudoscan® measurements are not affected by exercise and a subsequent increase in sweat rate.
What is the maximum weight that the sensor plates can handle?
199 kg or 440 lbs. A patient may sit and place their feet on the sensor plates if the weight capacity has been exceeded.