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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002 Jun;17(6):677-81.

Clinical implications of hepatogenous diabetes in liver cirrhosis.

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  • 1First Department of Medicine, Klinikum Lippe-Detmold, Röntgenstrasse 18, D-32756 Detmold, Germany. Andreas.Holstein@T-Online.De



Hepatogenous diabetes is a common complication of liver cirrhosis. The aim of the present study was to examine the clinical and therapeutic implications and the prognostic significance of hepatogenous diabetes in patients with liver cirrhosis.


The prospective cohort study was conducted in 52 patients with histologically confirmed liver cirrhosis (44% Child A, 37% Child B, 19% Child C). The examination included a history, determination of basal C-peptide and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) and, in some cases, a 3 h oral glucose tolerance test with 100 g glucose. Patients were also examined for signs of diabetic retinopathy and information on the further course of illness was obtained.


Seventy-one percent of patients with liver cirrhosis had manifest diabetes, 25% had impaired glucose tolerance and only 4% had normal glucose tolerance. In most cases, the hepatogenous diabetes was clinically asymptomatic. Sixteen percent of patients with hepatogenous diabetes had a family history of diabetes; only 8% had retinopathic complications. Within 5.6 +/- 4.5 years after diagnosis of liver cirrhosis, 52% of the diabetics had died, mainly of complications of the cirrhosis. There were no diabetes-associated or cardiovascular deaths.


Hepatogenous diabetes differs from type 2 diabetes in that there is less often a positive family history and that the cardiovascular and retinopathic risk is low. The prognosis of cirrhotic patients with diabetes is more likely to be negatively affected by the underlying hepatic disease and its complications than by the diabetes. Antihyperglycemic treatment of hepatogenous diabetes should always be carefully weighed up in each individual case.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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