Management of Microvascular Complications in Secondary Diabetes Associated with Autoimmune Diseases — Case Report

DOI: 10.1515/jim-2017-0071


The association of multiple autoimmune diseases may represent the main focus of physicians treating patients with such pathology presenting no comorbidities of different etiology. However, autoimmune diseases and side effects of drugs may lead to development of silent health-threatening diseases that should be identified promptly. We present the case of an elderly, obese, Caucasian female patient suffering of autoimmune thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis, who developed arterial hypertension and insulin-treated secondary diabetes mellitus (due to long-term oral corticotherapy) with microvascular end-organ changes. Retinal imaging for capillary anomalies identified mild non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy with apparent diabetic macular edema and hypertensive retinopathy. Laboratory investigations looking for further vascular risk factors revealed zinc deficiency, elevated serum homocysteine levels, and constantly high C-reactive protein concentration. Attention should be payed to the proper investigation of patients with autoimmune diseases, targeting the early diagnosis of microvasculopathies due to autoimmune diseases or possible medication side effects, in order to prevent end-organ damage.