Hypoglycemia and ventricular tachycardia due to adenocarcinoma of the stomach

Am J Med Sci. May-Jun 1975;269(3):403-8. doi: 10.1097/00000441-197505000-00015.


We report the first case of adenocarcinoma of the stomach associated with severe hypoglycemia. Accompanying the profound hypoglycemia, as low as 5 mg per cent by the orthotoluidine method, were multiple episodes of ventricular tachycardia which were abolished by glucose infusion. Following surgical excision of a hemorrhagic portion of the tumor, normoglycemia levels were achieved and ventricular irritability was no longer present. The possible mechanisms of hypoglycemia in extrapancreatic tumors are discussed as well as a mechanism for hypoglycemic-induced ventricular tachycardia. It is postulated that hemorrhage of a necrotic tumor may release large amounts of an insulin-like substance and cause hypoglycemic coma.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / complications*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Glucose / therapeutic use
  • Heart Ventricles*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology*
  • Male
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Stomach Neoplasms / complications*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tachycardia / drug therapy
  • Tachycardia / etiology*


  • Glucose