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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 20, No. 4, 2020, pp. 1875-1879
Bioline Code: hs20150
Full paper language: English
Document type: Case Report
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2020, pp. 1875-1879

 en 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.

© Copyright 2020 - Eren M et al.

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