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From Lexington, Kentucky, USA:

My infant son, now 12 weeks, was born full-term weighing only 4 lb., 7 oz. and hyperglycemic with a blood sugar in the high 300’s. He was immediately transferred to a nearby Children’s Hospital NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit]. During that time, he received a one-time, minute does of Regular insulin which shot his sugar down to 20. After that one shot, his sugars stabilized over the next nine days and he was discharged. The thought was that this one dose was all that was needed to "jump-start" his system.

At 8 weeks of age, his cardiologist (he also has a heart murmur) became suspicious of his slow weight gain and discovered his sugar level was 485. Tests revealed that his sugar had been elevated for some time. He has since been receiving insulin twice daily.

Despite these high sugars, he has never spilled ketones into his urine. Our current diagnosis is "neonatal diabetes." Apparently this is very rare. According to the scant literature available, it may be transient or it may turn into Type I diabetes.

Have you ever come across a similar case? Any information regarding this diagnosis would be extremely helpful.


This is an uncommon, but recognised story. Diabetes in the newborn period may be transient and some of these cases are associated with chromosomal changes. Those that are permanent may be linked to agenesis (lack of development) or dysgenesis (faulty development) of the beta cells in the islets that produce the insulin. Some are again associated with chromosomal changes and in some the exocrine as well as the endocrine pancreas fails to develop normally. This might be an important possibility to think about if your baby seems to have any digestive problems or is 'failing to thrive' because it is easy to treat. Autoimmune Type 1A Diabetes does not seem to occur at this age.


Original posting 2 Apr 1998
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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