Hypoglycemia in sulfonylurea-treated KCNJ11-neonatal diabetes: Mild-moderate symptomatic episodes occur infrequently but none involving unconsciousness or seizures.

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Neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM) caused by mutations in KCNJ11 can be successfully treated with high dose oral sulfonylureas; however, little data is available on the risk of hypoglycemia.


To determine the frequency, severity, and clinical significance of hypoglycemia in KCNJ11-related NDM.


Utilizing the University of Chicago Monogenic Diabetes Registry, parents completed an online questionnaire addressing hypoglycemia. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) data was available for 7 subjects.


Thirty subjects with KCNJ11-related permanent NDM (166 patient-years on sulfonylurea) had median sulfonylurea dose of 0.39 mg/kg/day (0.24-0.88 IQR, interquartile range) with median HbA1c 5.7% (39 mmol/mol) (5.5-6.1 IQR, 37-43 mmol/mol). Hypoglycemia (<70 mg/dL) was reported monthly once or less frequently in 89.3% of individuals, but 3 (10.7%) reported once weekly or more. Of all hypoglycemic episodes reported, none involved seizures or unconsciousness and thus did not meet the current ISPAD definition of severe hypoglycemia. Seven individuals wore a CGM for a total of 912 hours with blood sugars falling below 70 mg/dL for 5.8% of the time recorded, similar to ranges reported for people without diabetes.


In our cohort of KCNJ11-related permanent NDM, hypoglycemia is infrequent and mild despite the high doses of sulfonylurea used and near-normal level of glycemic control. Long-term follow-up on larger numbers will be required to clarify the incidence and determinants of hypoglycemia in this unique population.

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