Management of mitochondrial diabetes in the era of novel therapies Academic Article uri icon

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  • Mitochondrial disorders refer to the complex group of conditions affecting energy metabolism. A number of mitochondrial disorders can lead to the development of diabetes mellitus, and mitochondrial diabetes is thought to account for up to 3% of all diabetes mellitus cases. Depending on the degree of preservation of beta cell secretory capacity and peripheral muscle insulin sensitivity, the phenotype of mitochondrial diabetes may resemble that of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Additionally, mitochondrial diabetes may rarely present with diabetic ketoacidosis, and can be distinguished from other forms of monogenic diabetes including maturity onset diabetes of the young by the presence of multi-organ involvement, particularly pre-senile sensorineural hearing loss, maternal transmission, and later-onset diagnosis, typically affecting adults over 35 years. Various guidelines on diabetes care do not address this important subset of cases, and this diagnosis is easily missed. Additionally, there is paucity of data on tailored diabetes therapies for mitochondrial diabetes, particularly in the era of novel therapies including glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist and sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors. Here, we report three patients with mitochondrial diabetes who responded well to the addition of these novel agents and propose a new treatment algorithm for this condition.


  • Yeung, Roseanne O
  • Al Jundi, Mohammad
  • Gubbi, Sriram
  • Bompu, Maria E
  • Sirrs, Sandra
  • Tarnopolsky, Mark
  • Hannah-Shmouni, Fady

publication date

  • January 2021