Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been associated with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and many other viral infections have been associated with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (Type 1 DM). An association between HCV and Type 1 DM, however, has never been reported. We report the case of a 66-year-old man who developed Type 1 DM 1 year after a blood transfusion-related HCV infection. Testing of serum specimens obtained in the weeks following blood transfusion demonstrated evidence of both acute HCV infection and development of Type 1 DM-related autoantibodies.
Case report: A 66-year-old Taiwanese male received blood transfusions during coronary artery bypass surgery in 1987. Serum specimens, obtained as part of a study on post-transfusion hepatitis, demonstrated that the patient had no evidence of hepatitis C prior to transfusion, but developed acute HCV infection after transfusion. One year later, the patient, who had no personal or family history of diabetes, presented with diabetic ketoacidosis, and tests for C-peptide confirmed that he had Type 1 DM. Testing of pre- and post-operative serum specimens demonstrated that the patient developed positive tests for islet cell and glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies 4 weeks after transfusion, concurrent with the development of acute HCV infection.
Conclusions: The simultaneous development of HCV infection and diabetes-related autoantibodies suggest a relationship between HCV and Type 1 DM.