Non- pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour presenting with hypoglycemia in an elderly patient|
Eren, Merve & Bostan, Feyzi
Background: Hypoglycemia is a common, symptom seen in individuals. Hypoglycemia in the elderly is both under-recognized
and misdiagnosed due to nonspesific hypoglycemic symptoms and accompanying comorbidities in this population.
In diabetic individuals, hypoglycemia is most commonly caused by administering insulin or sulphonylureas and insulin
secretagogues. Other drugs, such as antibiotics or beta-blockers, have been reported to reduce blood glucose to abnormally
low levels. Hypoglycemia in non-diabetic patients is considered a rare event, and the possible reasons may be reactive hypoglycemia,
insulin-secreting tumours and other malignancies, hypopituitarism, hypocortisolism, alcohol abuse, inappropriate
insulin self-administration, malnutrition, renal failure and sepsis.
Case: An 86- year- old male was admitted to the emergency department with hypoglycemia diagnosed with non-pancreatic
neuroendocrine tumour (NET) on lung secreting insulin. No surgical intervention or chemotherapy was planned due to
patients age and comorbidities so best supportive care was planned. We used prednisone for symptomatic treatment of hypoglycemia
and the patient has been followed up periodically. In this period he had no hypoglycemic attack.
Conclusion: For patients with hypoglycemia who are unable/decline to receive any further treatment, low dose glucocorticoid
is a good choice to achieve normoglycemia. It seems to be more cost effective compared to other treatment options.
Furthermore hospitalisation rates may decrease due to decreased hypogylcemic attacks.
neuroendocrine tumour; hypoglycaemia; prednisone; non-islet cell tumour.