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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 746271, 9 pages
Research Article

Immunological Hypoglycemia Associated with Insulin Antibodies Induced by Exogenous Insulin in 11 Chinese Patients with Diabetes

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China

Received 20 January 2015; Revised 26 March 2015; Accepted 30 March 2015

Academic Editor: Mitsuhiko Noda

Copyright © 2015 Heng Quan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. To investigate the characteristics of immunological hypoglycemia associated with insulin antibodies (IAbs) induced by exogenous insulin in Chinese patients with diabetes. Methods. The clinical data of patients with immunological hypoglycemia due to IAbs were retrospectively analyzed by screening patients with diabetes discharged from West China Hospital from 2007 to 2013. Results. A total of 11 patients (eight men and three women) were identified. Insulin-C-peptide separation was found in all patients via insulin and C-peptide release test. Previous insulin use was ceased after admission and was switched to oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) (8/11), lifestyle modification only (2/11), or regular human insulin (1/11). Hypoglycemia was ameliorated after a median of 20 days (interquartile range [IQR], 11–40), while IAbs turned negative after a median of 17 months (IQR, 4–19), and serum immunoreactive insulin (IRI) levels dropped substantially after a median of 22 months (IQR, 9–32) in these cases. Conclusions. In insulin-treated patients with unexpected and refractory hypoglycemia even after insulin therapy was gradually reduced or even withdrawn, IAbs induced by exogenous insulin should be considered, and insulin withdrawal might be promptly needed. The course of immunological hypoglycemia was benign and self-limited.