OBJECTIVES: In this study we intended to find a correlation between hypertriglyceridemia and peripheral neuropathy (PN) in patients with a high triglyceride level and no neurological complaints.
METHODS: We recruited 24 patients (21 males and 3 females) having a triglyceride level above 300 mg/dl with no neurologic complaints and none of the other common causes of PN and they underwent an electroneurographic study. The distal motor or sensory latencies (DL), motor or sensory conduction velocities (CV), and motor or sensory amplitudes (AMP) were collected for the peroneal, posterior tibial, sural, median, and ulnar nerves and were considered abnormal if they fall above or below 2 standard deviations of reference values.
RESULTS: Our results show that 70.8% of the patients had a significant delay in the DL of the sural nerves and 66.7% had a significant delay in the DL of the median sensory fibers. 54.2% of the patients had a significant decrease in the motor CV in the posterior tibial nerves and 33.3% had a significant decrease in the sensory CV in the sural nerves. The means of the DL and CV were significantly different from reference values in most of the nerves. Amplitudes were the least if at all affected.
CONCLUSION: The pattern of the abnormalities affecting more the DL, the sensory nerves and the longer nerves of the lower extremities is suggestive of an early axonal polyneuropathy. We conclude that hypertriglyceridemia affects conduction parameters in peripheral nerves in a trend suggestive of early peripheral neuropathy.