Research Article

Pupillary signs in diabetic autonomic neuropathy.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 30 September 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:924
  1. S E Smith,
  2. S A Smith,
  3. P M Brown,
  4. C Fox,
  5. P H Sönksen


    Pupillary function was investigated in 36 insulin-dependent diabetics and 36 controls matched for age and sex. About half of the diabetics had evidence of peripheral somatic or autonomic neuropathy, or both. The diabetic patients had abnormally small pupil diameters in the dark and less fluctuation in pupil size (hippus) during continuous illumination than the controls. They also had reduced reflex responses to light flashes of an intensity adjusted for individual retinal sensitivities. The pupillary findings were compared with results of five tests of cardiovascular function and five tests of peripheral sensory and motor nerve function. Almost all the patients with autonomic neuropathy had pupillary signs, which we therefore conclude are a common manifestation of diabetic autonomic neuropathy.