Insulin allergy and antibody-mediated resistance may complicate therapy with animal insulins. We describe a 53-year-old man manifesting both resistance and persistent systemic allergy despite treatment with recombinant human insulin. Insulin resistance and symptoms of allergy appeared in this patient several months after initiating therapy with mixed beef-pork insulin, as is often the case. Symptoms initially improved, but persisted, and then worsened again, despite continuous human insulin therapy. Total insulin-binding capacity by Scatchard analysis, high plasma insulin-binding capacity, and specific anti-insulin antibody levels were consistent with an immunologic form of insulin resistance. Glucocorticoid therapy was required both to reduce allergic findings and to restore glycemic control. Although recently available human insulins may be less immunogenic than animal forms, immune responses to exogenous human insulin still may pose significant clinical problems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy