Glucagon II pp 645-666 | Cite as

Glucagon in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypoglycaemia

  • V. Marks
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 66 / 2)


Two of glucagon’s many pharmacological properties are utilised clinically for the diagnosis and treatment of hypoglycaemia. They are its ability: (1) to raise the blood glucose concentration by increasing hepatic glycogenolysis; and (2) to stimulate insulin secretion by direct action on pancreatic B-cells. Though still widely used for the treatment of acute episodes of iatrogenic hypoglycaemia in insulin-dependent subjects, the advent of more specific and more effective treatments has reduced almost to zero the usefulness of glucagon as a therapy for chronic hypoglycaemia. Similarly, the availability of improved diagnostic procedures for hyperinsulinism, glycogen storage disease and the various endocrinopathies associated with, and causative of, spontaneous hypoglycaemia has reduced the usefulness of glucagon in the differential diagnosis of these disorders to that of an adjunct rather than a key.


Blood Glucose Concentration Glycogen Storage Disease Glycogen Storage Disease Type Marks Versus Hereditary Fructose Intolerance 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

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  • V. Marks

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