Analysis of the clinical characteristics of insulin autoimmu
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The exact incidence, clinical features and uniform diagnostic criteria of exogenous insulin autoimmune syndrome (EIAS) are still unclear. The purpose of this study is to explore the clinical characteristics of EIAS and to provide a structural approach for clinical diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

The literature on EIAS in Chinese and English from 1970 to 2020 was collected for retrospective analysis.

-- A total of 122 patients (33 males and 73 females) were included in the study with a median age of 67 years (range 14–86) and a median HbA1c of 7.7%.

-- EIAS mainly occurred in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients using premixed insulin.

-- Symptoms manifested were hypoglycemia in 86.54%, recurrent episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia in 35.58%, nocturnal hypoglycemia along with daytime hyperglycemia in 21.15% and recurrent hypoglycemia after discontinued insulin in 64.43%.

-- The onset of symptoms occurred at night, in the early morning or during fasting, ranging from a few days to 78 months after the administration of insulin.

-- The mean blood glucose level during the hypoglycemic phase was 2.21 mmol/L (range 1–3.4), and the serum insulin levels were mainly?more than?100 U/mL and were associated with low C-peptide levels (less than 10 ng/ml).

-- Insulin autoantibodies (IAAs) were positive in all EIAS patients.

-- The 75-g extended oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) mainly showed a diabetic curve.

-- Pancreatic imaging was unremarkable. Withdrawal of insulin alone or combination of oral hypoglycemic agents or replacement of insulin formulations or with corticosteroid treatment eliminated hypoglycemia in a few days to 3 months.

-- IAA turned negative in 6 months (median, range 1–12). No hypoglycemia episodes were observed at a median follow-up of 6 months (range 0.5–60).

Conclusively, EIAS is an autoimmune disease caused by insulin-binding antibodies in susceptible subjects. Insulin antibodies change glucose dynamics and could increase the incidence of hypoglycemic episodes. Detection of insulin antibodies is the diagnostic test. Changing therapeutic modalities reduced the incidence of hypoglycemic episodes.