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February 1988

Diabetic Neuropathy Simulating Conus Medullaris Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md (Dr Scherokman), and the Department of Internal Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC (Dr Vukelja).

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(2):459-460. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380020203026

• Two diabetic patients presented with fecal incontinence, poor rectal sphincter tone, perianal hypoesthesia, and absent Achilles reflexes. These signs suggested the conus medullaris syndrome; however, no mass lesion was found to account for the clinical features. Fecal incontinence can occur in longstanding, insulin-dependent diabetics. Back pain and absence of autonomic and peripheral neuropathy should indicate an etiology other than diabetic neuropathy.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:459-460)