Diabetes mellitus: CT findings of unusual complications related to the disease

A pictorial essay


      Diabetes mellitus is a common multisystemic disorder with serious effects on the gastrointestinal tract, genitourinary system and soft tissues. The long-term effects of diabetes are mainly related to macro- and microvascular disease, neuropathy, both autonomic and somatic, and to an increased susceptibility to infections, which generally develop 15–20 years after the appearance of overt hyperglycemia. Herein, we discuss the unusual long-term complications related to the disease that can display a characteristic CT pattern. CT, together with clinical findings, proved useful in the identification and characterization of such unusual pictures. Knowledge of the specific pathology and imaging features of unusual late effects related to the disease is of paramount importance for the correct management of diabetic patients.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Clinical Imaging
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Foster DW
        Diabetes mellitus.
        in: Fauci AS Braunwald E Isselbacher KJ Wilson J Martin J Kasper D Hause S Longo D Harrison's principles of internal medicine. McGraw-Hill, New York1998: 2060-2081
        • Garber AJ
        Diabetes mellitus.
        in: Stein JH Internal medicine. Mosby Year Book, St. Louis1994: 1029-1057
        • Ferrozzi F
        • Tognini G
        • Pavone P
        • Draghi F
        • Campani R
        Diagnostic imaging of diabetes mellitus.
        Radiol Med. 2000; 99: 8-16
        • Campbell IW
        Diabetic autonomic neuropathy.
        Br J Clin Pract. 1976; 30: 153-164
        • Eliopoulos GM
        Infections in diabetes mellitus.
        Infect Dis Clin. 1995; 9: 1-25
        • Garrison MW
        • Campbell RK
        Identifying and treating common and uncommon infections in patient with diabetes.
        Diabetes Educ. 1993; 19: 522-529
        • Smitherman KO
        • Peacock JE
        Infectious emergencies in patients with diabetes mellitus.
        Med Clin North Am. 1995; 79: 53-77
        • Jain KA
        • Mcgahan JP
        Spectrum of CT and sonographic appearance of fatty infiltration of the liver.
        Clin Imag. 1993; 17: 162-168
        • Falchuk KR
        • Conlin D
        The intestinal and liver complications of diabetes mellitus.
        Arch Intern Med. 1993; 38: 269-286
        • Katz DS
        • Hines J
        • Math KR
        • Nardi PM
        • Mindelzun RE
        • Lane MJ
        Using CT to reveal fat-containing abnormalities of the pancreas.
        Am J Roentgenol. 1999; 172: 393-396
        • Zeman RK
        Radiologic imaging in gallbladder disease.
        in: Balfe DM Levine MS Categorical course in diagnostic radiology gastrointestinal. RSNA Publications, Oakbrook, IL1997: 219-228
        • Rodriguez-de-Velasquez A
        • Yoder IC
        • Velasquez PA
        • Papanicolaou N
        Imaging of the effects of diabetes on the genitourinary system.
        Radiographics. 1995; 15: 1051-1068
        • Joseph RC
        • Amendola MA
        • Artze ME
        • Casillas J
        • Jafri SZ
        • Dickson PR
        • Morillo G
        Genitourinary tract gas: imaging evaluation.
        Radiographics. 1996; 16: 295-308
        • Michaeli J
        • Mogle P
        • Perlberg S
        • Heiman S
        • Caine M
        Emphysematous pyelonephritis.
        J Urol. 1984; 131: 203-208
        • Kanter SA
        • Garris GB
        Upper urinary tract air: a benign finding indicating presence and degree of ureteral reflux.
        J Urol. 1978; 119: 129-130
        • Lang EK
        • Fritzsche D
        Fistulas of the genitourinary tract.
        in: Pollack HM Clinical urography. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia1990: 2579-2593
        • Rittemberg GM
        • Warren K
        Air in the pelvi-calyceal system: a normal finding in patients with ureteroileostomies.
        Am J Roentgenol. 1977; 128: 311-312
        • Bittleman DB
        Cystitis emphysematosa.
        NY State J Med. 1991; 91: 110-111
        • Salamone I
        • Ascenti G
        • Blandino A
        • Ruggeri A
        • Pandolfo I
        Radiologic ultrasonographic and CT findings in a case of emphysematous cystitis.
        Radiol Med. 1994; 88: 149-151
        • Amendola MA
        • Casillas J
        • Joseph R
        • Antun R
        • Galindez O
        Fournier gangrene: CT findings.
        Abdom Imag. 1994; 19: 471-474
        • Begley MG
        • Shaker TH
        • Robertson CS
        Fournier gangrene: diagnosis with scrotal US.
        Radiology. 1988; 169: 387-389