Hyperglycemia in stressed small premature neonates

J Pediatr. 1979 Mar;94(3):454-9. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(79)80601-0.


The metabolic responses to a constant glucose infusion were measured in 30 premature infants, 700 to 1,550 gm. The study included 18 stressed premature infants who needed assisted ventilation, and 12 control premature infants. Metabolic measurements were similar in both groups in the cord and preinfusion samples. In the first postinfusion sample, glucose, cortisol, and glycerol values were higher in stressed than in control premature infants. Hyperglycemia was seen in 13 of stressed and in only one of control premature infants. Stressed infants who became hyperglycemic in the first postinfusion sample were then compared to stressed euglycemic infants. Insulin levels were higher, glycerol levels similar, but cortisol levels lower in stressed hyperglycemic than in stressed euglycemic premature infants. The etiology of hyperglycemia in stressed premature infants cannot be attributed to hypoinsulinemia or to hypercortisolemia, and is not associated with increased glycerol levels. There was no difference in mortality between stressed hyperglycemia and stressed euglycemic infants; stress, rather than hyperglycemia, was related to mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Female
  • Glucose / administration & dosage
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glycerol / blood
  • Humans
  • Hyaline Membrane Disease / metabolism*
  • Hyaline Membrane Disease / therapy
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stress, Physiological / metabolism*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucose
  • Glycerol
  • Hydrocortisone