Non-Diabetic Hyperglycemia in the Pediatric Age: Why, How, and When to Treat?

Curr Diab Rep. 2018 Oct 29;18(12):140. doi: 10.1007/s11892-018-1115-0.


Purpose of review: Non-diabetic hyperglycemia (NDHY) is a pathological condition that is not yet well known. The aim of this review is to examine approaches for management of this condition.

Recent findings: While it is well known that persistent hyperglycemia in diabetes affects immune response and risk for diabetes-related micro- and macrovascular complications, little is known about the biological effects of transient NDHY, particularly in the pediatric age group. Stress HY (SHY) is typically defined as blood glucose > 8.33 mmol/L (150 mg/dL) during physical stress, resolving spontaneously after dissipation of acute illness in patients without known diabetes. Based on the literature and clinical practice, two situations can be classified: (1) SHY1, which occurs during severe and prolonged illness and under serious life-threatening conditions, mainly in emergency situations and in resuscitation areas; and (2) SHY2, which occurs during acute illness, mainly in non-life-threatening conditions. Furthermore, (NDHY) among pediatric patients can be induced by drugs; the most frequent conditions are secondary to (1) steroid therapy and (2) antineoplastic/immunosuppressive therapy.

Keywords: Drug-induced hyperglycemia; Management; Non-diabetic hyperglycemia; Stress hyperglycemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Critical Illness
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hyperglycemia / physiopathology
  • Hyperglycemia / therapy*
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Blood Glucose