Massive synchronous B-cell necrosis causing type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes--a unique histopathological case report

Diabetologia. 1988 Jan;31(1):46-50. doi: 10.1007/BF00279132.


A 22-year-old Chinese male died in hyperglycaemic coma following a 36-h illness. The only significant pathological findings were in the pancreas where there was a heavy diffuse infiltrate of lymphocytes admixed with numerous eosinophils, macrophages and polymorphs. There appeared to have been massive, recent, synchronous necrosis of insulin-secreting B cells with no destruction of any other pancreatic parenchymal cells. The biochemical findings of severe hyperglycaemia, insulinopoenia, but a normal glycosylated HbA1 were compatible with an acute onset to the patient's diabetes. These features contrast with the very much slower destruction of B cells associated with insulitis seen in "classical" Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Reaction / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology*
  • Male
  • Necrosis