Roux-en-Y gastric bypass as a cure of iatrogenic steroid-induced diabetes
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Background: Steroid-induced diabetes (SIDM) is a frequently found clinical condition since steroid-based therapies continue to be widely used in hospital and ambulatory care. Recommended optimal treatment of SIDM includes similar glucose lowering strategies as in type 2 diabetes. This typical management cannot cure the disease, it can only control blood glucose. Recently, bariatric surgery has emerged as an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, up to now, the usefulness of bariatric surgery in treatment of SIDM has not been evaluated. Case report: A 49-year-old female oncologic patient with steroid induced diabetes was referred for surgical treatment to the Department of General and Transplant Surgery in November 2009. Six years earlier, she underwent successful oncologic treatment with cladribine and high doses of steroids due to hairy cell leukemia. Finally complete hematologic remission with normalization of morphology and reduction of spleen size has been obtained. Prior to steroid treatment, blood glucose and urine examinations were within normal range. The patient was non-obese and had no family history of diabetes. Nevertheless, the patient developed diabetes secondary to corticosteroid therapy, poorly controlled by oral hypoglycemic agent (acarbosum), successfully converted to insulin therapy. Upon admission to the Department of General and Transplant Surgery, the patient was treated with 58 units of insulin per day. The patient was scheduled for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). Insulin was withdrawn immediately after the surgery and within six months after the surgery, plasma glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c-5.5%) levels reached and remained within normal range. Currently, eight years after surgery, body weight and BMI are 80 kg and 27.68 kg/m2, respectively. Plasma glucose and glycated hemoglobin are also normal. Importantly, from an oncological point of view, the patient has remained in continuous complete remission since October 2003. Conclusions: Our report is the first to our knowledge describing the effect of gastric bypass surgery on SIDM in a patient with prior hematologic malignancy. It proves that surgically altered anatomy of the small intestine improves glucose homeostasis previously disturbed with pro-diabetic medication.
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