Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an X-linked disease responsible for moderate to severe hemolytic anaemia. Despite being the most common erythrocyte enzyme disorder, it is often overlooked in the regular diagnostic parlance. A 40 year old male patient admitted to the casualty with an acutely exacerbated diabetic ketoacidosis, showed features of hemolytic anaemia on peripheral smear examination. Crucially, the spherocytes and bite cells suggested a possibility of G6PD deficiency. This was substantiated by an increased reticulocyte count (6.8%) and a reduced quantitative G6PD enzyme assay (7.2%). There was no significant family or prior medical/ drug history. Interestingly, the hemolytic features were evidenced when blood glucose levels were returning to normal values. The insulin mediated NADPH loss may have resulted in an increased erythrocyte oxidant sensitivity and a loss of sulfhydryl group availability; causing hemolysis to manifest. G6PD deficiency is conventionally affiliated with drug induced oxidative stress. But an association with a diabetes mellitus is seldom reported. This case is being presented as it highlights the lesser known complication of diabetic crisis such as hemolysis secondary to a G6PD deficiency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry