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.