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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 655-659

“Riding high on low fuel” - Our experience with endogenous hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia

Department of Endocrinology, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Belinda George
Department of Endocrinology, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru-560034, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_174_17

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Introduction: Endogenous hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (EHH) is a condition in which the insulin levels are inappropriately high in the presence of low plasma glucose. Materials and Methods: We did a retrospective analysis of case records of those patients admitted and evaluated for EHH from June 2004 to June 2016 in our center, excluding those that were diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia. We collected data regarding demographics, clinical presentation, laboratory results, localization techniques, and treatment administered. Results: Sixteen patients who were admitted for evaluation based on history suggestive of repeated hypoglycemic episodes were included in the study. All but one pregnant patient was subjected to a supervised fast in the hospital. All patients developed hypoglycemia (defined using Whipple's triad) within the first 24 h. Three patients had autoimmune hypoglycemia which differed significantly from insulinoma-mediated hypoglycemia in certain clinical and laboratory parameters. They were older in age with marked fluctuations in the 24 h glucose profile ranging from frank hypoglycemia to frank hyperglycemia. The insulin levels were markedly elevated in this group of patients along with a significantly elevated insulin C peptide molar ratio (ICMR) when compared with patients with insulinoma-mediated hypoglycemia. Conclusions: Although insulinoma is the most common cause of EHH, autoimmune hypoglycemia should be considered as a differential diagnosis, particularly in older individuals with plasma glucose values increasing to the hyperglycemic range. Degree of elevation of insulin levels and ICMR may provide additional clues. Overall, the survival and prognosis of patients with EHH are excellent.

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