An Unusual Cause of Generalized Insulin Edema and Truncal Neuropathy

Nicola Tufton, Simon Coppack, Bobby Huda


Insulin edema and acute neuropathy are rare side effects of insulin initiation or rapid improvement in glycemic control. Both conditions occurring simultaneously are very rare and there are no previous data on truncal neuropathy as a dominant feature. A 35-year-old lady, who presented with an infected, necrotic fourth finger and was admitted for debridement and antibiotics, developed diabetic ketoacidosis. Past medical history included latent autoimmune disease of adults. She was non-compliant with medication and had experienced significant weight loss (37 kg; body mass index (BMI) 15.1 kg/m2). She was glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody positive, with poor glycemic control (HbA1c 133 mmol/mol (14.3%)). She was treated with intravenous and then subcutaneous insulin. From day 3, she developed significant pitting edema to her umbilicus. She was treated with furosemide 40 mg once daily and fluid restriction. Other causes of edema were excluded. Peak weight gain was 5 kg and edema resolved 2 weeks later. She also developed a painful sensory neuropathy over dermatomes T12-L2 on day 5, which persisted for several months before resolution. Magnetic resonance imaging was normal and nerve conduction studies showed generalized diabetic sensorimotor neuropathy. This is the first report of edema and truncal neuropathy developing secondary to insulin initiation and a rapid improvement in glycemic control. Our case was particularly susceptible due to poor glycemic control, low bodyweight, hepatic dysfunction and low serum albumin. This case highlights the importance of being aware of the rare complications of insulin therapy, particularly in susceptible patients.

J Med Cases. 2015;6(12):563-565


Type 1 diabetes; Insulin edema; Truncal neuropathy; Painful neuropathy; Insulin side effects

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Journal of Medical Cases, monthly, ISSN 1923-4155 (print), 1923-4163 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:   editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.