Background: Glycogen storage disease type Ib (GSD Ib) is a rare inborn error of glycogen metabolism due to mutations in SLC37A4. Besides a severe form of fasting intolerance, the disorder is usually associated with neutropenia and neutrophil dysfunction causing serious infections, inflammatory bowel disease, oral, urogenital and perianal lesions as well as impaired wound healing. Recently, SGLT2 inhibitors such as empagliflozin that reduce the plasma levels of 1,5-anhydroglucitol have been described as a new treatment option for the neutropenia and neutrophil dysfunction in patients with GSD Ib.
Results: We report on a 35-year-old female patient with GSD Ib who had been treated with G-CSF for neutropenia since the age of 9. She had a large chronic abdominal wound as a consequence of recurrent operations due to complications of her inflammatory bowel disease. Treatment with 20 mg empagliflozin per day resulted in normalisation of the neutrophil count and neutrophil function even after termination of G-CSF. The chronic abdominal wound that had been unchanged for 2 years before the start of empagliflozin nearly closed within 12 weeks. No side effects of empagliflozin were observed.
Conclusion: SGLT2 inhibitors are a new and probably safe treatment option for GSD Ib-associated neutropenia and neutrophil dysfunction. We hypothesize that restoration of neutrophil function and normalisation of neutrophil apoptosis leads to improvement of wound healing and ameliorates symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
Keywords: Empagliflozin; Glucose-6-phosphate transporter; Glycogen storage disease type Ib; Inflammatory bowel disease; Neutropenia; Neutrophil dysfunction; Oxidative burst; Wound healing.