INTRODUCTION: Type 1 diabetes autoantibodies are directed against multiple antigens including: glutamic acid decarboxylase, protein tyrosine phosphatase-like islet antigen 2 (IA2), insulin (IAA), and Zinc transporter 8 protein (ZnT8). The aim of our study was to determine if the presence or titer of ZnT8 antibodies (Ab) was predictive for clinical presentation at diagnosis or for the subsequent disease course.
METHODS: Between January, 2003 and May, 2019, 105 patients aged ≤21 years with a clinical diagnosis of type 1 diabetes mellitus had at least 1 autoantibody measured. A retrospective chart review was completed. At diagnosis, we evaluated the body mass index z-score, hemoglobin (HbA1c), and the presence of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Complications analyzed post-diagnosis included episodes of DKA, the diagnosis of autoimmune disease, and the presence of vascular complications. We evaluated cumulative lifetime excess glucose as HbA1c area under the curve (AUC) >6%.
RESULTS: Seventy-one patients were ZnT8-Ab(+) (68%), with 19 having low titer ZnT8-Ab and 52 with high titer ZnT8-Ab. Follow-up ranged from 10 days to 15.7 years (median 2.08 years). There were no differences in the characteristics at disease onset or in the subsequent follow-up between those with and those without ZnT8-Ab or those with high or low titers of ZnT8 Ab, except for a small but statistically significant difference in cumulative excess glucose (HbA1c AUC >6%) between those with low and high titers (p=0.0095).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Our study adds to the limited literature on the effect of the presence and titer of ZnT8-Ab in pediatric diabetes. The small effect of ZnT8-Ab titer on glucose excess as measured by HbA1c AUC warrants further study.