Pancreatic autoantibodies in Italian patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes mellitus over the age of 20 years

C. Betterle, F. Lazzarotto, A. Fusari, R. Zanchetta, S. Benedini, B. Pedini, A. Moscon, F. Presotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim was to estimate the prevalence of the serological markers of pancreatic autoimmunity in a cohort of Italian patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus occurring after 20 years of age in order to determine the prevalence of autoimmune diabetes and the most sensitive autoantibody combination to be employed for the diagnosis. We investigated 57 patients (31 males and 26 females) at clinical diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. 35 patients were 21-40 years and 22 were 41-72 years of age. Autoantibodies to islet-cells (ICA) were detected by indirect immunofluorescence, while those against glutamic acid decarboxylase (GADA), tyrosine-phosphatase (IA2A) and insulin (IAA) were detected by radiobinding assays. A positive test for at least one of the pancreatic autoantibodies was found in 45 of the 57 patients (78.9%). Coupling two antibody tests, GADA and/or IAA were found in 73.7%, ICA and/or GADA in 71.9%, while GADA and/or IA2A were found in 70.2% of the patients. The most frequently positive test was for GADA (66.7%). In general, the frequency of diabetes-related antibodies was higher in the 21-40-year-old group compared to the 41-72-year-old group and in females than males. Based on the detection of pancreatic autoantibodies determination, the great majority of the adult patients with recent onset type 1 diabetes were found to be autoimmune in nature. The best cost/benefit combination is provided by coupling the detection of GADA and ICA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalActa Diabetologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • Glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies
  • Insulin autoantibodies
  • Islet-cell autoantibodies
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • Tyrosine-phosphatase autoantibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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