Associated ulcerative colitis, sclerosing cholangitis, and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

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We report two young men with clinical and laboratory evidence of macroscopic ulcerative colitis, sclerosing cholangitis, and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The first patient presented at age 15 with vomiting, abdominal pain, weight loss, and abnormal liver function test results. Liver biopsy and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) demonstrated sclerosing cholangitis. Colonoscopy with biopsy revealed ulcerative colitis which responded to sulfasalazine. Diabetes occurred at age 18 and insulin therapy was begun.

The second patient was 19 at presentation with diarrhea, hematochezia, and weight loss. Proctosigmoidoscopy revealed ulcerative colitis, and sulfasalazine led to clinical remission. Three months later he developed diabetes requiring insulin therapy. At age 28, he developed elevated alkaline phosphatase, and ERCP revealed sclerosing cholangitis. At age 37 he expired from adenocarcinoma that metastasized to the liver.

Literature review revealed only one possible case report of this association with microscopic asymptomatic ulcerative colitis in that patient. Statistical analysis suggests that this association is real rather than a chance occurrence. An autoimmune process may be involved and a specific histocompatibility locus antigen (HLA) type may exert a regulatory influence.


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