A case of glycemic instability and insulin allergy due to anti-insulin antibodies in a patient with type 2 diabetes

Katsumi Iizuka, Reiko Tomita, Yukio Horikawa, Jun Takeda

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7 Citations (Scopus)


A 68-year-old diabetic man was treated with biphasic insulin aspart therapy (16 U/day) beginning in July 2008. In March 2009, however, his glycemic control remained poor because of insulin allergy and brittle diabetes caused by anti-insulin antibodies. The properties of the patient's anti-insulin antibody were similar to those observed for patients with insulin autoimmune syndrome. The insulin-specific IgE-to-non-specific IgE ratio, i. e., IgE-specific activity that causes allergic reactions, was much higher in this patient than in our asymptomatic patients with both insulin-specific IgE and IgG. After hospitalization in August 2009, 750 mg miglitol, 1 mg glimepiride, and 8 U insulin glargine were initiated on day 7 and blood glucose control improved. No allergic reaction was observed. M values that reflect blood glucose variations improved (168 and 68. 3 on days 2 and 9, respectively). On day 7, wheal and flare plaques at the insulin injection sites disappeared. Insulin glargine was discontinued and blood glucose remained stable. The patient's plasma C-peptide immunoreactivity response to meals was well preserved (1. 3/3. 3 and 0. 9/3. 3 ng/ml on days 2 and 9, respectively), but free insulin levels changed slightly after breakfast, even after changing insulin analogs and oral anti-diabetic drugs, for example miglitol and glimepiride (9. 7/14. 8 and 8. 2/11. 6 μU/ml on days 2 and 9, respectively). Thus, to avoid severe side effects, for example insulin allergy and brittle diabetes, insulin therapy should be cautiously introduced in hyperglycemia cases with preserved insulin-secretion capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetology International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12-2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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