Neonatal blood glucose concentrations: metabolic effects of intravenous glucagon and intragastric medium chain triglyceride

Arch Dis Child. 1993 Mar;68(3 Spec No):255-61. doi: 10.1136/adc.68.3_spec_no.255.


Neonatal hypoglycaemia is a common clinical problem and the traditional treatment for the condition is intravenous glucose administration. The glycaemic effects of two additional treatments were investigated, in a randomised trial, in 23 neonates who were receiving intravenous glucose as treatment for hypoglycaemia. Eleven infants received an intravenous bolus dose of glucagon (200 micrograms/kg) and 12 infants received intragastric medium chain triglyceride (MCT) (5 ml/kg). Blood concentrations of glucose and intermediary metabolites were measured before and one hour after treatment, and, using stable isotope infusion, glucose production rates were calculated. After glucagon, there was a mean rise in blood glucose concentration of 1.6 mmol/l and in the glucose production rate of 2.6 mg/kg/min. After MCT, there was a small mean rise in blood glucose concentration of 0.4 mmol/l, but the effect of MCT on glucose production rate was variable. Intravenous bolus glucagon administration exerted a glycaemic effect which was associated with an increase in glucose production rate. The use of glucagon, as an alternative treatment to intravenous glucose, should be investigated further.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Glucagon / administration & dosage*
  • Glucose / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / blood*
  • Hypoglycemia / therapy
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Instillation, Drug
  • Insulin / blood
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Glucagon
  • Glucose