Glucagon in Diabetic Coma
Measurements of glucagon were performed in 31 patients with diabetic ketoacidosis before and during insulin therapy. Marked hyperglucagonemia was recorded in all patients. A significant correlation was found between the basal plasma levels of glucagon and those of glucose (r = 0.51, p <.05) and ketone bodies (r = 0.75, p <.01). The highest levels of glucagon were noted in the patients with non-ketotic hyperglycemia. Insulin therapy resulted in a significant suppression of glucagon levels which preceded any significant change in plasma glucose. Nevertheless, the correction of hyperglycemia occurred whilst absolute hyperglucagonemia still persisted. Although these results suggest that insulin has a direct inhibitory effect on glucagon secretion, they raise the question of the role of glucagon in the development of ketosis and hyperglycemia.
KeywordsInsulin Therapy Ketone Body Insulin Infusion Diabetic Ketoacidosis Glucagon Secretion
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