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ISSN: 2081-237X
Pediatric Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism
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vol. 24
Review paper

Steroid-induced diabetes in the paediatric population

Marcelina Drucis
Ninela Irga-Jaworska
Małgorzata Myśliwiec

Pediatr Endocrinol Diabetes Metab 2018; 24 (3): 135-139
Online publish date: 2018/12/23
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Steroid-induced diabetes is a rare disease in the paediatric population. High doses of corticosteroids are used in diseases such as acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), lymphomas, or connective tissue diseases.

Post-steroid hyperglycaemia arises as a result of increased gluconeogenesis and increased glycogen synthesis. Steroid-induced diabetes most often is asymptomatic; therefore it is important to monitor the glycaemic level in patients receiving systemic glucocorticoids.

So far, no separate guidelines for steroid-induced diabetes have been developed, so the criteria for diagnosing drug-related diabetes mellitus do not differ from the criteria for diagnosing type 2 diabetes. Hyperglycaemia adversely affects the immune system: it impairs the function of granulocytes, immunoglobulins, and also causes T-lymphocyte apoptosis. A hyperglycaemic environment favours the development of bacterial and fungal infections. Numerous studies confirm that hyperglycaemia increases the risk of infection and severity of infection.

There have also been reports of adverse effects of steroid-induced hyperglycaemia in the course of treatment for the underlying disease in the adult population. Reports related to the paediatric population are not as numerous. There are studies that have proven an increased risk of infection in paediatric patients with ALL and steroid-induced diabetes, as well as studies that proved an unfavourable effect of diabetes on survival in children with ALL and as well the studies that proved that risk of life-threatening infection and survival does not differ statistically in the group of patients with hyperglycaemia and in the group of patients who did not develop diabetes.

glucocorticosteroids; oncohaematological children; transient hyperglycaemia, steroid-induced diabetes

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