Neonatal hypoglycemia

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Neonatal hypoglycemia
Classification and external resources
MedlinePlus 007306
eMedicine article/802334

Neonatal hypoglycemia is a condition of decreased blood sugar or hypoglycemia in a neonate.[1] Untreated low blood sugar levels in newborn children poses a higher risk for injury to the brain that could lead to developmental problems later in life. Such children are often admitted to neonatal units for active treatment, resulting in separation from the mother and inadequate breast feeding during this time.


Neonatal hypoglycemia can be found in the following conditions:

Decreased substrate availability
  • Intrauterine growth retardation
  • Prematurity
  • Inborn errors of metabolism (e.g. fructose intolerance)
  • Glycogen storage disease
  • Prolonged fasting without IV glucose
  • Infant of diabetic mother
  • Erythroblastosis fetalis
  • Exchange transfusion
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome
  • Islet cell hyperplasia
  • Maternal ß-mimetic tocolytic agents
  • High umbilical arterial catheter
  • Abrupt cessation of IV glucose
Other endocrine abnormalities
  • Pan-hypopituitarism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Adrenal insufficiency
Increased glucose utilization
Other conditions
  • Polycythemia
  • Congenital heart disease
  • CNS abnormalities


40% dextrose (a form of sugar) gel applied directly to the infant's mouth is a simple and effective treatment to improve the sugar levels. This also helps keeping mothers and infants together, and improving the rate of full breast feeding at the time of discharge from hospital.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Neonatal Hypoglycemia : Intensive Care Nursery House Staff Manual" (PDF). UCSF Children's Hospital. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Weston, PJ; Harris, DL; Battin, M; Brown, J; Hegarty, JE; Harding, JE (4 May 2016). "Oral dextrose gel for the treatment of hypoglycaemia in newborn infants.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 5: CD011027. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD011027.pub2. PMID 27142842. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

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