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Articles by B. Shields
Total Records ( 3 ) for B. Shields
  T. J. McDonald , K. Colclough , R. Brown , B. Shields , M. Shepherd , P. Bingley , A. Williams , A. T. Hattersley and Sian Ellard
  Aim  Maturity-onset diabetes of the young is a monogenic form of familial, young-onset diabetes. It is rare (~1% diabetes) and may be misdiagnosed as Type 1 diabetes and inappropriately treated with insulin. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the presence of islet autoantibodies, including glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) and islet antigen-2 (IA-2) antibodies. The prevalence of islet autoantibodies is unknown in maturity-onset diabetes of the young and may have the potential to differentiate this form of diabetes from Type 1 diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of GAD and IA-2 antibodies in patients with maturity-onset diabetes of the young and Type 1 diabetes. Methods  We measured plasma GAD and IA-2 antibodies in 508 patients with the most common forms of maturity-onset diabetes of the young (GCK: n = 227; HNF1A: n = 229; HNF4A: n = 52) and 98 patients with newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes (diagnosed < 6 months). Autoantibodies were considered positive if ≥ 99th centile of 500 adult control subjects. Results  GAD and/or IA-2 antibodies were present in 80/98 (82%) patients with Type 1 diabetes and 5/508 (< 1%) patients with maturity-onset diabetes of the young. In the cohort with Type 1 diabetes, both GAD and IA-2 antibodies were detected in 37.8% of patients, GAD only in 24.5% and IA-2 only in 19.4%. All five patients with maturity-onset diabetes of the young with detectable antibodies had GAD antibodies and none had detectable IA-2 antibodies. Conclusion  The prevalence of GAD and IA-2 antibodies in maturity-onset diabetes of the young is the same as in control subjects (< 1%). The finding of islet autoantibodies, especially IA-2 antibodies, makes the diagnosis of maturity-onset diabetes of the young very unlikely and genetic testing should only be performed if other clinical characteristics strongly suggest this form of diabetes rather than Type 1 diabetes. This supports routine islet autoantibody testing before proceeding to more expensive molecular genetic testing.
  M. Shepherd , B. Shields , S. Ellard , O. Rubio-Cabezas and A. T. Hattersley
  Background and aims  Hepatocyte nuclear factor-1 alpha (HNF1A) gene mutations are the commonest cause of monogenic diabetes, but patients are often misdiagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes and started on insulin treatment. Patients with HNF1A diabetes are particularly sensitive to the glucose-lowering effect of sulphonylureas, which are the pharmacological treatment of choice. We aimed to assess if patients do change from insulin to sulphonylurea treatment when HNF1A diabetes is confirmed and the impact of this treatment change on long-term glycaemic control.

Methods  We investigated the clinical course of 43 patients who were insulin treated from diagnosis for a median 4 years (range 1-14) before an HNF1A gene mutation was identified.

Results  Thirty-four patients (79%) stopped insulin following genetic testing and transferred to sulphonylureas. Twenty-four of them (71%) remained off insulin at a median 39 months (range 17-90) post-transfer. The 10 patients who recommenced insulin had a trend towards a longer duration of diabetes (18 vs. 7 years, P = 0.066) compared with those remaining on tablets. The median glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) was good (6.9%; interquartile range 6.3-8.0%) in the patients who remained off insulin and 19/24 patients (79%) achieved HbA1c < 7.5% or improved their pre-genetic diagnosis HbA1c by > 1.0%. Transfer off insulin was not attempted in eight patients: one of these was planning pregnancy and two chose to remain on insulin.

Conclusion  In this observational study we found that a molecular genetic diagnosis of HNF1A diabetes does alter treatment in clinical practice, with 79% attempting transfer to sulphonylureas. Transfer to sulphonylureas was successful in the majority of patients without deterioration in glycaemic control.

  S. V. Hope , A. G. Jones , E. Goodchild , M. Shepherd , R. E. J. Besser , B. Shields , T. McDonald , B. A. Knight and A. Hattersley


To determine the prevalence and clinical characteristics of absolute insulin deficiency in long-standing Type 2 diabetes, using a strategy based on home urinary C-peptide creatinine ratio measurement.


We assessed the urinary C-peptide creatinine ratios, from urine samples taken at home 2 h after the largest meal of the day, in 191 insulin-treated subjects with Type 2 diabetes (diagnosis age ≥45 years, no insulin in the first year). If the initial urinary C-peptide creatinine ratio was ≤0.2 nmol/mmol (representing absolute insulin deficiency), the assessment was repeated. A standardized mixed-meal tolerance test with 90-min stimulated serum C-peptide measurement was performed in nine subjects with a urinary C-peptide creatinine ratio ≤ 0.2 nmol/mmol (and in nine controls with a urinary C-peptide creatinine ratio >0.2 nmol/mmol) to confirm absolute insulin deficiency.


A total of 2.7% of participants had absolute insulin deficiency confirmed by a mixed-meal tolerance test. They were identified initially using urinary C-peptide creatinine ratio: 11/191 subjects (5.8%) had two consistent urinary C-peptide creatinine ratios ≤ 0.2 nmol/mmol; 9 of these 11 subjects completed a mixed-meal tolerance test and had a median stimulated serum C-peptide of 0.18 nmol/l. Five of these 9 had stimulated serum C-peptide <0.2 nmol/l and 9/9 subjects with urinary C-peptide creatinine ratio >0.2 had endogenous insulin secretion confirmed by the mixed-meal tolerance test. Compared with subjects with a urinary C-peptide creatinine ratio >0.2 nmol/mmol, those with confirmed absolute insulin deficiency had a shorter time to insulin treatment (median 2.5 vs. 6 years, P=0.005) and lower BMI (25.1 vs. 29.1 kg/m2, P=0.04). Two out of the five patients with absolute insulin deficiency were glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibody-positive.


Absolute insulin deficiency may occur in long-standing Type 2 diabetes, and cannot be reliably predicted by clinical features or autoantibodies. Absolute insulin deficiency in Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of hypoglycaemia and ketoacidosis, as in Type 1 diabetes. Its recognition should help guide treatment, education and management. The urinary C-peptide creatinine ratio is a practical non-invasive method to aid detection of absolute insulin deficiency, with a urinary C-peptide creatinine ratio > 0.2 nmol/mmol being a reliable indicator of retained endogenous insulin secretion.

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