Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 20, 2020

The challenges of diagnosing diabetes in childhood

Mairi Pucci ORCID logo, Marco Benati, Claudia Lo Cascio, Martina Montagnana and Giuseppe Lippi
From the journal Diagnosis


Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide, whereby type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) alone involves nearly 15 million patients. Although T1DM and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are the most common types, there are other forms of diabetes which may remain often under-diagnosed, or that can be misdiagnosed as being T1DM or T2DM. After an initial diagnostic step, the differential diagnosis among T1DM, T2DM, Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) and others forms has important implication for both therapeutic and behavioral decisions. Although the criteria used for diagnosing diabetes mellitus are well defined by the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), no clear indications are provided on the optimal approach to be followed for classifying diabetes, especially in children. In this circumstance, both routine and genetic blood test may play a pivotal role. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to provide, through a narrative literature review, some elements that may aid accurate diagnosis and classification of diabetes in children and young people.

Corresponding author: Mairi Pucci, MD, Clinical Biochemistry Section, Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, P.le L.A Scuro, 10, 37134, Verona, Italy, Phone: +39 045 8124512, Fax: +04 581 24514, E-mail:

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.


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Received: 2020-03-17
Accepted: 2020-06-22
Published Online: 2020-07-20
Published in Print: 2021-08-26

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