Tumor-associated hypoglycemia is an uncommon complication of neoplastic proliferation. Because of its rarity, it is commonly overlooked and, when recognized, may pose numerous difficulties in diagnosis and management. Because the symptoms are nonspecific, it may initially be difficult to distinguish alteration of mental status due to “glucose starvation” from that produced by other metabolic or infectious etiologies in the patient with advanced cancer. When the problem has been identified, it then becomes necessary to distinguish tumor-associated hypoglycemia from more commonly encountered causes of hypoglycemia, such as postabsorptive (reactive) hypoglycemia and iatrogenic hypoglycemia. Finally, when the process has been identified as paraneoplastic, it then becomes necessary to distinguish between islet-cell carcinoma and tumors that do not produce insulin. This chapter is intended to assist the practitioner in identifying and managing paraneoplastic complications that result from tumor-induced hypoglycemia.
KeywordsPlasma Glucose Level Pancreatic Polypeptide Altered Mental Status Adrenocortical Carcinoma Immunoreactive Insulin
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