Insulin-resistant diabetes mellitus in a black woman with ataxia-telangiectasia

South Med J. 1996 Jun;89(6):619-21. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199606000-00013.


A 24-year-old woman with ataxia-telangiectasia had traumatic arthritis, elevated serum transaminase values, polyuria, polydipsia, and a serum glucose level of 575 mg/dL. A relatively high daily dose of insulin (2.8 U/kg) was required to achieve near normoglycemia. The fasting insulin concentration was elevated. During an insulin-modified frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test, the first phase of insulin release in response to the administration of glucose was blunted. The insulin sensitivity was similar to that found in individuals with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Insulin receptor antibodies were not detected in the serum. We conclude that insulin resistance and islet beta-cell dysfunction are characteristics of diabetes mellitus in ataxia-telangiectasia. Contrary to a previous report, our findings do not support a cause-and-effect relationship between insulin receptor antibodies and insulin resistance in this disorder.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia / etiology*
  • Black People
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Antibodies / analysis
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Receptor, Insulin / immunology


  • Insulin Antibodies
  • Receptor, Insulin