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Keywords:

  • insulin;
  • reversible hepatomegaly;
  • type 1 diabetes

Objective: To describe the aetiology, clinical features and appropriate treatment for hepatic glycogenosis in poorly controlled type 1 diabetes.

Methods: A review of three adolescents with poor diabetes control, hepatomegaly and elevated serum liver transaminase concentrations.

Results: Symptoms included abdominal pain, anorexia, nausea and vomiting. All had tender hepatomegaly; two had splenomegaly. Liver biopsy was performed on two patients. Histology revealed hepatic glycogenosis in both; one also demonstrated macrovesicular steatosis. With improved glycaemic control, all three showed resolution of their symptoms, organomegaly and elevated serum liver transaminase concentrations.

Conclusions: Insulin-reversible hepatic glycogenosis is the most common cause of hepatomegaly and raised serum liver transaminase concentrations in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Having excluded other causes of hepatic dysfunction, a 4 week therapeutic trial of improved glycaemic control is recommended prior to more invasive investigations.