Measurement of "true" glucose production rates in infancy and childhood with 6,6-dideuteroglucose

Diabetes. 1977 Nov;26(11):1016-23. doi: 10.2337/diab.26.11.1016.


"New" glucose production has been measured in 54 infants and children for the first time by continuous three-to-four-hour influsion of the safe, nonradioactive tracer 6,6-dideuteroglucose. The use of combined gas chromatography--mass spectrometry with monitoring of selected ions allowed deuterium enrichment in blood glucose to be measured on microliter samples with an error of less than 2 per cent. In the young child, glucose production increased in a slightly curvilinear manner from 1 kg. to 25 kg. body weight, when it reached 140 mg. per minute, almost the adult value of 173 mg. per minute (2.28 +/- 0.23 mg./kg.-min., mean +/- S.E.). Normalized for weight, glucose production in premature infants was 5.46 +/- 0.31 mg./kg.-min., in term neonates averaged 6.07 +/- 0.27 mg./kg.-min., in children below the age of six years was 7.1 +/- 0.27 mg./kg.-min., and in late childhood averaged 5.4 +/- 0.28 mg./kg.-min. Relative to estimated brain weight, however, glucose production was essentially linear from the 1-kg. premature infant to the 80-kg. adult. These data, the first measurements of "new" glucose production in childhood, suggest that brain size may be a principal determinant of those factors that regulate hepatic glucose output throughout life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / biosynthesis
  • Body Weight
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Deuterium
  • Glucose / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mass Spectrometry


  • 6,6-dideuteroglucose
  • Blood Glucose
  • Deuterium
  • Glucose