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      The McKittrick–Wheelock syndrome: a rare cause of curable diabetes


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          McKittrick–Wheelock syndrome (MWS) is a rare consequence of severe dehydration and electrolyte depletion due to mucinous diarrhoea secondary to a rectosigmoid villous adenoma. Reported cases of MWS commonly describe hypersecretion of mucinous diarrhoea in association with dehydration, hypokalaemia, hyponatraemia, hypochloraemia and pre-renal azotemia. Hyperglycaemia and diabetes are rarely reported manifestations of MWS. Herein we describe the case of a 59-year-old woman who presented with new-onset diabetes and severe electrolyte derangement due to a giant rectal villous adenoma. Subsequent endoscopic resection of the tumour cured her diabetes and normalised electrolytes. This case describes a rare cause of ‘curable diabetes’ and indicates hyperaldosteronism and/or whole-body potassium stores as important regulators of insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis.

          Learning points

          • McKittrick–Wheelock syndrome (MWS) is typically characterised by the triad of pre-renal failure, electrolyte derangement and chronic diarrhoea resulting from a secretory colonic neoplasm.

          • Hyperglycaemia and new-onset diabetes are rare clinical manifestations of MWS.

          • Hyperaldosteronism and/or hypokalaemia may worsen glucose tolerance in MWS.

          • Aggressive replacement of fluid and electrolytes is the mainstay of acute management, with definitive treatment and complete reversal of the metabolic abnormalities being achieved by endoscopic or surgical resection of the neoplasm.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Familial diarrhea syndrome caused by an activating GUCY2C mutation.

          Familial diarrhea disorders are, in most cases, severe and caused by recessive mutations. We describe the cause of a novel dominant disease in 32 members of a Norwegian family. The affected members have chronic diarrhea that is of early onset, is relatively mild, and is associated with increased susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease, small-bowel obstruction, and esophagitis. We used linkage analysis, based on arrays with single-nucleotide polymorphisms, to identify a candidate region on chromosome 12 and then sequenced GUCY2C, encoding guanylate cyclase C (GC-C), an intestinal receptor for bacterial heat-stable enterotoxins. We performed exome sequencing of the entire candidate region from three affected family members, to exclude the possibility that mutations in genes other than GUCY2C could cause or contribute to susceptibility to the disease. We carried out functional studies of mutant GC-C using HEK293T cells. We identified a heterozygous missense mutation (c.2519G→T) in GUCY2C in all affected family members and observed no other rare variants in the exons of genes in the candidate region. Exposure of the mutant receptor to its ligands resulted in markedly increased production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). This may cause hyperactivation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR), leading to increased chloride and water secretion from the enterocytes, and may thus explain the chronic diarrhea in the affected family members. Increased GC-C signaling disturbs normal bowel function and appears to have a proinflammatory effect, either through increased chloride secretion or additional effects of elevated cellular cGMP. Further investigation of the relevance of genetic variants affecting the GC-C-CFTR pathway to conditions such as Crohn's disease is warranted. (Funded by Helse Vest [Western Norway Regional Health Authority] and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.).
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            Increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome in patients with primary aldosteronism of the German Conn's Registry.

            Abnormalities in glucose homeostasis have been described in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) but most studies show inconsistent results. Therefore, we aimed to compare the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in newly diagnosed PA patients to a matched control cohort of the background population.
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              Insulin-like peptide 5 is an orexigenic gastrointestinal hormone.

              The gut endocrine system is emerging as a central player in the control of appetite and glucose homeostasis, and as a rich source of peptides with therapeutic potential in the field of diabetes and obesity. In this study we have explored the physiology of insulin-like peptide 5 (Insl5), which we identified as a product of colonic enteroendocrine L-cells, better known for their secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptideYY. i.p. Insl5 increased food intake in wild-type mice but not mice lacking the cognate receptor Rxfp4. Plasma Insl5 levels were elevated by fasting or prolonged calorie restriction, and declined with feeding. We conclude that Insl5 is an orexigenic hormone released from colonic L-cells, which promotes appetite during conditions of energy deprivation.

                Author and article information

                Endocrinol Diabetes Metab Case Rep
                Endocrinol Diabetes Metab Case Rep
                EDM Case Reports
                Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports
                Bioscientifica Ltd (Bristol )
                1 May 2016
                : 2016
                [1 ]Metabolic Research Laboratories, Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science , Cambridge, UK
                [2 ]Department of Histopathology, Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Addenbrooke’s Hospital , Cambridge, UK
                [3 ]Department of Gastroenterology, Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Addenbrooke’s Hospital , Cambridge, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence should be addressed to B G Challis Email: bc340@ 123456medschl.cam.ac.uk
                © 2016 The authors
                Unique/Unexpected Symptoms or Presentations of a Disease


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