Effect of somatostatin infusion on intermediary metabolism and entero-insular hormone release in infants with hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia

Acta Paediatr Scand. 1981 Nov;70(6):889-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1981.tb06246.x.


The hypoglycaemia of infantile hyperinsulinism is often exceedingly difficult to control. The use of somatostatin has been advocated recently in such infants because of its effect on inhibiting insulin release, but nothing is known of the wider effects of this potent hormone in the young child. Two infants presenting at 9 weeks and 5 days of age with severe hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia were studied during an infusion of somatostatin. In both infants normoglycaemia was restored with suppression of insulin secretion. An increase in blood ketone bodies occurred, but no change was seen in blood pyruvate, lactate or alanine concentrations. The plasma concentrations of glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone, motilin, pancreatic polypeptide, gastric inhibitory of polypeptide, neurotensin, gastrin and vasoactive intestinal peptide decreased markedly during the somatostatin infusion. No consistent change occurred in plasma enteroglucagon or secretin values. We conclude that somatostatin effectively suppresses abnormal insulin secretion in infants, but it has profound effects on the release of nine other hormones. Further studies are needed to define the consequences of suppressing the release of these hormones before somatostatin can be used routinely in the management of infantile hyperinsulinism.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / complications
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / blood
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Hyperinsulinism / complications
  • Hyperinsulinism / drug therapy
  • Hyperinsulinism / physiopathology*
  • Hypoglycemia / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology
  • Hypoglycemia / physiopathology*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / complications
  • Somatostatin / administration & dosage
  • Somatostatin / pharmacology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Insulin
  • Somatostatin
  • Growth Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone