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CASE REPORT
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 106-108

Insulin lipohypertrophy: A non-fatal dermatological complication of diabetes mellitus reflecting poor glycemic control


1 Department of Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2 Endocrinology and Metabolism, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Ishrat H Dar
Department of Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir - 190 010
India
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-631X.123646

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Lipohypertrophy has been a recognized complication of insulin therapy. Despite improvements in insulin purity and the introduction of recombinant human insulin, its prevalence has remained high particularly in those with a poor glycemic control. Injection of insulin into a site of lipohypertrophy, although painless, may lead to erratic absorption of insulin, with the potential for poor glycemic control and unpredictable hypoglycemia. Rotation of injection sites can reduce the frequency of the problem but does not abolish it. The importance of this complication is not only cosmetic but also in its impact on insulin absorption, and hence glycemic control. Lipohypertrophy is characterized by a benign "tumor-like" swelling of fatty tissue secondary to subcutaneous insulin injections. A strong association of lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy with insulin antibodies might suggest that autoimmune phenomena with insulin play a role in the development of both. Presented here is a young type 1 diabetic on human insulin with poor glycemic control who developed lipohypertrophy at the injection sites around the umbilicus.


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