Challenges of LADA Diagnosis and Treatment: Lessons From 2 Case Reports

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Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is a subtype of autoimmune diabetes, which shares characteristics of both Type 1 and 2 diabetes (T1D and T2D), and for this reason, it is often confused with other types of diabetes, misdiagnosed, and inappropriately treated. Two cases were presented (41-year-old and 50-year-old females), one occasionally diagnosed during routine health checkup, the other one identified as having T2D, and as far as misclassified and not optimally treated. Now, after approximately 9 months of LADA diagnosis, the first patient has an optimal metabolic control while maintaining the values of glycated hemoglobin to around 7% with small doses of analogue insulin (lispro 4–6 UI) before meals and long acting insulin (glargine 4–6 UI) at bedtime. The second patient, after approximately 2 years from the LADA diagnosis, has an optimal metabolic control, with maintenance of glycated hemoglobin to around 6.5%, and stable C-peptide level (around 1.5 ng/mL), only with dietary and exercise habits. To avoid misclassification, any patient who does not fit the typical T2D profile, or with poor glycemic control, and who does not follow the expected clinical course, as become insulin dependent sooner than expected, should be investigated to exclude LADA. To define the best therapeutic approach, each patient must be evaluated and therapy tailored on his/her specific profile, considering as very low insulin doses may be effective to maintain a successful metabolic control and the only dietary approach may be sufficient until the insulin-secretory capacity remains good.

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