Is the lung a target organ in diabetes?

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Maurizio Marvisi *
Emanuele Bassi
(*) Corresponding Author:
Maurizio Marvisi |


BACKGROUND The lung is not considered a target organ in diabetes mellitus. In English language literature there are many papers showing the opposite.
DISCUSSION Many studies demonstrated a thickened alveolar epithelial and pulmonary capillary basal lamina and a reduced lung elasticity, others showed that these histopathological alterations develop into functional abnormalities such as reduced lung volumes, pulmonary diffusion capacity and elastic recoil. The diabetes related pulmonary disease has not an impact on normal life in otherwise “healthy” patients, but it is possible that in specific pathologic (such as heart, kidney and lung comorbidities) or paraphysiologic (such as physical exercise, smoking or exposure to high altitude) conditions, diabetes could contribute to the clinical manifestation of a restricitive lung disease. On the other hand, diabetic patients have an increased propensity to acquire infections. The prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis is reported to be four times than in healthy subjects; there is a predilection for the lower lobes and the disease is more aggressive in poorly controlled diabetes mellitus.

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