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Indian J Pediatr. 2000 Jun;67(6):443-8.

Diabetes mellitus in newborns and infants.

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Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.


Diabetes mellitus is uncommon in infancy and newborn period. The two common forms seen are the transient and permanent forms of diabetes mellitus of the newborn. They have to be differentiated from the transient hyperglycemic states (Blood sugar > 125 mg/dl) seen in newborns who receive parenteral glucose infusions and in those with septicemia and CNS disorders. Transient diabetes mellitus of the newborn (TDNB) is defined as hyperglycemia occurring within the first month of life lasting at least 2 weeks and requiring insulin therapy. Most of these cases resolve spontaneously by 4 months. It has a reported incidence of 1 in 45,000 to 60,000 live births. The most likely etiology is a maturational delay of cAMP mediated insulin release. The clinical features include small for datedness, proneness for birth asphyxia, open-eye alert facies, dehydration, emaciation, polyuria and poydipsia. These children are prone to septicemia and urinary tract infections. They have hyperglycemia, glucosuria, absent or mild ketonuria, low basal insulin, C-peptide and IGF-1 levels. Treatment consists of hydration and judicious administration of insulin with close monitoring. Thirty percent of these children are likely to develop permanent neonatal diabetes. Compared to transient form, permanent diabetes mellitus is uncommon. It is usually due to pancreatic dysgenesis often associated with other malformations and rarely due to type 1 diabetes mellitus. The diagnosis is based on the demonstration of both exocrine and endocrine pancreatic dysfunction. These children are managed as type 1 diabetes mellitus. They are prone to develop the vascular complications of diabetes at an earlier date.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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