Effect of metformin and rosiglitazone in a prepubertal boy with Alstrom syndrome.

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Child, Diabetes-Mellitus-Type-2, Drug-Therapy-Combination, Fatty-Liver, Humans, Hypoglycemic-Agents, Insulin-Resistance, Male, Metformin, Obesity, Syndrome, Thiazolidinediones

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see Reprint Collection (a pdf is available)

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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 2007 Sep; 20(9):1045-52.


Alstrom syndrome (AS) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive pigmentary retinopathy, sensorineural hearing loss, fatty liver infiltration, obesity, insulin resistance and early-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). Early onset of insulin resistance and DM2 are key components of this syndrome. AIM: To study the effect of early initiation of the insulin sensitizer metformin combined with rosiglitazone in a patient with AS with impaired glucose tolerance. PATIENT: An 8 year-old boy with AS presented with acanthosis nigricans and insulin resistance at the age of 6 years. He had progressive excessive weight gain from 9 months of age. By the age of 1 year he developed photosensitivity, blindness and nystagmus. At the age of 5.5 years, his body mass index (BMI) was above the 95th percentile. He developed impaired glucose tolerance at 6 years of age and treatment with metformin was initiated. After 8 months of treatment with metformin he developed DM2. The dose of metformin was increased, and rosiglitazone added. METHODS: A 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and a rapid intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) were performed before treatment was initiated, after treatment with metformin and at the end of 1 year of combination therapy with metformin and rosiglitazone to calculate quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) and acute insulin response (AIR). For mutation analysis, all exons and splice site sequences of the ALMS1 gene were amplified and sequenced. RESULTS: Metformin treatment alone at the stage of impaired glucose tolerance did not prevent progression to DM2. However, metformin at a higher dose and in combination with rosiglitazone resulted in improvement of pancreatic beta-cell function, shown by markedly improved first-phase insulin response to glucose measured by AIR. The patient was found to have two heterozygous nonsense mutations in ALMS1, 8008 C-->T Ter, R2670X, and 11449 C-->T Ter, Q3817X. These alterations cause premature stops and result in a truncated ALMS1 protein. CONCLUSION: We suggest that early initiation of combined therapy comprising a high dose of metformin plus rosiglitazone may be valuable in managing insulin resistance and DM2 in children with AS.

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