Atypical Diabetes Mellitus Associated with Bone Marrow Transplantation

Objective: To describe 3 cases of atypical diabetes mellitus following bone marrow transplantation.

Methods: We describe the clinical presentation and relevant laboratory findings of 3 patients who presented with new-onset diabetes mellitus after bone marrow transplantation and discuss the possible mechanisms.

Results: A 52-year-old white man with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a 51-year-old white woman with acute myelogenous leukemia, and a 38-year-old Hispanic woman with acute myelogenous leukemia presented with acute onset of diabetes mellitus after bone marrow transplantation. Although blood glucose levels were initially very high, the patients required only small insulin dosages for glycemic control. Both the acute onset and requirement of relatively small insulin dosages were characteristic of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Onset of diabetes appeared to be unrelated to immunosuppressive drug therapy because it happened several months after starting these drugs. C-peptide was detectable, and glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies were absent. Diabetes mellitus remitted spontaneously after a few months while the immunosuppressive drugs were continued.

Conclusion: Although the underlying mechanisms are unknown, cytokine changes after bone marrow transplantation may have led to temporary β-cell dysfunction in these patients.


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