Metabolic events in infants of diabetic mothers during first 24 hours after birth. I. Changes in plasma glucose, insulin and glucagon.Acta Paediatr Scand 1982; 71(1):19-25AP
Changes in plasma glucose, nonantibody-bound insulin and glucagon concentrations were studied in 32 newborn infants of diabetic mothers (IDM) during the first 24 hours after birth. Ten infants were born to White class A mothers and 22 to class B-F mothers. The infants were kept fasting during the investigative period and blood was sampled from an umbilical artery catheter. At birth, plasma glucose and glucagon levels were similar in the class A and B-F infants, whereas nonantibody-bound insulin levels were approximately 15-fold higher in the class B-F infants than in the class A infants (p less than 0.001). After birth, plasma glucose fell in all infants, the nadir being reached at two hours (p less than 0.01). Plasma glucose fell by approximately 35% in the class A infants and 63% in the class B-F infants (p less than 0.01). Eight IDM had asymptomatic hypoglycemia (plasma glucose less than 1.9 mmol/l) and four of these infants had glucose levels below 1.7 mmol/l and were withdrawn from further study. In the remaining four hypoglycemic IDM, plasma glucose was about 1.6-fold higher (p less than 0.01) and insulin about 11-fold higher (p less than 0.001) at birth compared to the 24 normoglycemic IDM. The hypoglycemia was attended by unchanged insulin levels in the class A infants, whereas insulin fell in the class B-F infants (p less than 0.01). However, during the whole investigative period, plasma insulin of the class B-F infants was higher than that of the class A infants (p less than 0.01). After birth, plasma glucagon increased slowly in all IDM and peak values were reached after 12 hours in the class A infants (p less than 0.05) and 24 hours in the class B-F infants (p less than 0.01). Only those infants who became hypoglycemic after birth exhibited a significant increment in plasma glucagon from 0.2 hours (p less than 0.05). These results suggest that neonatal hypoglycemia of IDM results from high plasma levels of nonantibody-bound insulin together with a very retarded increment in plasma glucagon levels. The degree of neonatal hypoglycemia and hyperinsulinemia of an individual IDM seems to be positively correlated to the severity of the diabetes of the mother.