Transient Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus: A Challenge and Opportunity for Specialized Nursing Care

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Transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM) is a rare disorder, with a reported incidence of approximately 1 in 450,000 live births. It is characterized by insulin-requiring hyperglycemia in the neonatal period. The disease improves by early childhood, but the patient may relapse in later life. Diagnosis is made after genetic testing following presentation with hyperglycemia not conforming to Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Management is based on insulin and possible sulfonylurea administration. Three genetically distinct subtypes of TNDM are recognized. Type 1 TNDM is due to overexpression of genes at the 6q24 locus, whereas the 11p15 locus is involved in Type 2 and 3 TNDM. In this article the clinical presentation, management, and genetics of TNDM are discussed, particularly emphasizing the role of the neonatal nurse.

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