What is the prognosis of pediatric hypoglycemia?

Updated: Feb 19, 2018
  • Author: Robert P Hoffman, MD; Chief Editor: Sasigarn A Bowden, MD  more...
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Answer

Prognosis clearly is dependent on the underlying condition. Inborn errors of metabolism and hormonal deficiencies are lifelong diseases that require lifelong treatment. On the other hand, ketotic hypoglycemia is generally outgrown when the child has adequate nutritional stores to prevent hypoglycemia, which is usually around age 5 years.

The prognosis in hyperinsulinism varies and depends on the severity of the disease, whether it is amenable to medical therapy, and whether the lesion is focal or diffuse. Focal lesions can frequently be surgically cured. Mild hyperinsulinism that is responsive to diazoxide may require long-term therapy but may allow the child to lead a normal life. Diffuse lesions that are not responsive to medical therapy are frequently not entirely cured by pancreatectomy and may present continued problems, including hypoglycemia and developmental delay or, at the opposite extreme, type 1 diabetes.

In a study of patients under age 20 years with type 1 diabetes, Pacaud et al found that in those who suffered an episode of severe hypoglycemia/hypoglycemic coma, the risk for another such episode remained higher than that in patients who never had an episode even 4 years after the episode occurred. [11]


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