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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


The Use of Glucocorticoids for Better Control of Diabetes Mellitus: The Paradox of Sclerosing Mesenteritis (The Rare Could Become Common)

Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Rare disease

Beata Mrozikiewicz-Rakowska, Mateusz Zygmunciak, Tomasz Głażewski, Mateusz Mieczkowski, Joanna Podgórska, Olgierd Rowiński, Leszek Czupryniak

Poland Department of Diabetology and Internal Diseases, Medical Univeristy of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e930453

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.930453

Available online: 2021-04-22

Published: 2021-05-31


BACKGROUND: Sclerosing mesenteritis is a rare disease characterized by chronic inflammation of mesenteric adipose tissue. To our knowledge, this is the first case report that presents the effects of glucocorticoid therapy on metabolic control in diabetes mellitus, aggravated by sclerosing mesenteritis. We want to show the significance of this rare disease, which could be underestimated as a cause of decompensation of diabetes mellitus.
CASE REPORT: A 57-year-old man with diabetes type 2 was admitted to the hospital to obtain better metabolic control of this disease. In addition, he reported persistent pain in the left side of his abdomen.
Sclerosing mesenteritis was diagnosed based on the CT and MRI images. Prednisone was administered. The treatment resulted in better glycemic control and abdominal pain reduction. On follow-up after 1 year, the patient reported a decrease in the abdominal pain and an MRI showed a significant reduction of abnormalities in the mesentery.
CONCLUSIONS: It is known that glucocorticoids exacerbate hyperglycemia, particularly in patients with diabetes mellitus. However, we noticed contrary effects in the case of our patient. We suggest that the inflammatory process occurring in sclerosing mesenteritis was one of the main causes of metabolic decompensation in our patient. The effect of reduction of inflammation with glucocorticoids was stronger than the hyperglycemic effect of this treatment. That is why, in the presence of this autoimmune disease, the use of glucocorticoids can paradoxically lead to better glycemic control.

Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Glucocorticoids, Hyperglycemia, Panniculitis, Peritoneal, Prednisone