April 2009 - New research highlighting the relationship between steroids and insulin requirements suggests a possible treatment algorithm in post-liver transplant patients. This research will be presented on May 15, 2009 at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 18th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress in Houston, Texas.
The tentative algorithm was developed as doctors tried to understand the elevation in blood sugar levels in patients that received post-operative steroids due to a liver transplant. The blood sugar rise was attributed to the toxic effects of steroid medications on beta cell function.
Additionally, the relationship between prolonged exposure to steroids generally six months revealed a strong relationship with persistent diabetes at a one year follow up after transplantation
"It appears that these steroids can lead to a permanent diabetic state," Umadevi Muthyala, MD, said. "Prevention strategies must be considered in environments where they are commonly used."
Muthyala's team developed a tentative dosing algorithm to account for the increased insulin need in relation to steroid dosage.
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"Although the data is not definitive, it gives us a handle on proper dosing and can be used to prospectively study other populations," she said.
Source: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)