Which non-insulin producing tumors cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)?

Updated: Jul 23, 2020
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Hypoglycemia may also be caused by large non–insulin-secreting tumors, most commonly retroperitoneal or mediastinal malignant mesenchymal tumors. The tumor secretes abnormal insulinlike growth factor (large IGF-II), which does not bind to its plasma binding proteins. This increase in free IGF-II exerts hypoglycemia through the IGF-I or the insulin receptors. The hypoglycemia is corrected when the tumor is completely or partially removed and usually recurs when the tumor regrows.


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