The objectives were to evaluate the current prevalence of lipoatrophy at insulin injection sites in young patients with type 1 diabetes. Standardized examination of insulin injection sites in all 678 patients with type 1 diabetes treated in 2013 in our outpatient clinic were conducted. In case of lipoatrophy photo documentation and standardized interview with parents and patients were performed. We identified a total of 16 patients (43.8% male) with lipoatrophy (overall prevalence 2.4%). The current mean age (±SD) of the affected patients was 14.4 ± 3.9 years, age and diabetes duration at onset of lipoatrophy were 11.5 ± 3.8 years and 5.4 ± 3.6 years, respectively. All patients were using analogs at the onset of lipoatrophy. In all, 14 of 16 patients (87.5%) were on insulin pump compared with 52% without lipoatrophy (P = .0018). The use of steel needle and Teflon catheter was equal between the pump patients. Concomitant autoimmune diseases were present in 37.5% of the patients (thyroiditis: n = 3, thyroiditis and celiac disease: n = 2, celiac disease: n = 1) compared with 15.0% in those without lipoatrophy (P = .0128). Lipoatrophy was present in young patients treated with modern insulins and pumps; however, the prevalence was relatively low as expected with the use of modern insulins. Our data may support the hypothesis that a constant mechanical element such as a subcutaneous catheter may trigger the development of lipoatrophy, particularly in those patients with more than 1 autoimmune disease.
Keywords: CSII; catheters; injection sites; insulin analogs; lipoatrophy.
© 2014 Diabetes Technology Society.