Zuzana Michnová, Renata Szépeová, Miriam Čiljaková, Lýdia Zúbriková, Peter Bánovčin st.
Liver disease and type 1 diabetes mellitus
Background: liver plays an important role in the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. Type 1 diabetes mellitus
(DM1) is one of the most frequent chronic metabolic diseases in children. Diabetes mellitus affects all organ systems
including the gastrointestinal tract. According to the literature, the prevalence of hepatopathy in patients with DM1
ranges between 17-100 %, however, the majority of the studies were performed in adults. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
and hepatic glycogenosis (Mauriac syndrome) are two most frequent liver diseases occurring as a consequence
of diabetes mellitus, mainly resulting from inadequate compensation. We aimed to investigate levels of serum liver
enzymes, glycaemic control and to estimate the incidence of ultrasound changes of the liver in children with DM1.
Methods: in the study, we enrolled 72 children with DM1 (29 boys, 40.27% and 43 girls, 59.72 %) who were hospitalized
in 2015 at the Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital in Martin to perform control testing, adjust insulin
therapy, or set an insulin pump for therapy.
All subjects underwent the panel of standard biochemical blood tests: fasting glucose level, fasting lipid profile, liver
enzymes, creatinine, total bilirubin, glycated haemoglobin, C-peptide, microalbuminuria and ultrasonographic examination
of the abdomen.
Results: the median age was 13.42 years (IQR: 10.50-18.50 years). The average duration of diabetes in the population
was 5.30 years (IQR: 1.80-8.30 years). Diabetes compensation was unsatisfactory, HbA1c was 10.19% (IQR:
6.50-16.40%). There were found 23.61% of patients having one or more liver abnormalities, hepatomegaly in 12.5 %,
changes in echogenicity of the liver parenchyma in 11.11 % and liver enzymes elevation in 8.33 %. DM1 patients with
abnormal hepatic ultrasound had significantly higher HbA1c (p= 0.05), fasting glucose level was not significantly higher
(p= 0.16) than those with normal findings. Based on clinical and laboratory findings in 2 children Mauriac syndrome
diagnosis was assumed; in one case acquired liver glycogen was subsequently confirmed by biopsy examination.
Discussion: According to the literature and results of our study, the hyperechogenic liver and/or hepatomegaly are
not uncommon in children with DM1. Hepatic glycogenosis is a rare complication of poorly controlled DM1 characterized
by elevated liver enzymes, hepatomegaly, and glycogen accumulation in hepatocytes.
Conclusions: hepatic abnormalities are frequent in paediatric patients with DM1, and they are usually related with
long-term unsatisfactory metabolic control of the disease.