Successful therapy with calcium channel blocker (nifedipine) in persistent neonatal hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy

Bas F., Darendeliler F. F., Demirkol D., BUNDAK R., Saka N., Günöz H.

JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM, vol.12, no.6, pp.873-878, 1999 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


appropriate management of persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy (PHHI) still remains controversial. Some patients show a response to treatment with diazoxide or somatostatin, but a number of children require total or near-total pancreatectomy to control hyperinsulinism. Recent studies suggest a dysfunction in the adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium channel present in the plasma membrane of pancreatic beta-cells in PHHI. The closure of these channels initiating the depolarization of the P-cen membrane and opening of calcium channels results in an increase in intracellular calcium which triggers insulin secretion. A calcium channel blocking agent has been shown to block this process and decrease insulin secretion of the nesidioblastotic beta-cells in vitro and to control the hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of the patient in vivo. To examine the efficacy of calcium channel blocker therapy, three patients with PHHI were treated with nifedipine. PHHI was diagnosed by inappropriately high insulin levels for low blood glucose levels at 8-10 days of age. Normoglycemia was maintained by a high dose of glucose infusion at a rate of 14-16 mg/kg/min. Therapy using diazoxide and/or somatostatin analogue failed to restore euglycemia in these three patients, The first patient underwent near-total pancreatectomy; however, hyperinsulinism recurred 30 days after surgery. All patients were started on short acting nifedipine at a dose of 0.3 mg/kg/day per os in four doses. To maintain blood glucose levels in normal ranges, the dose of nifedipine was progressively increased to 0.7-0.8 mg/kg/day, Glucose infusion rate to restore euglycemia decreased and was discontinued on the 4(th) to 10(th) day of nifedipine treatment. The patients, who have now been followed on nifedipine therapy for over 12 months, are normoglycemic with normal insulin levels. The growth and neuromotor development of the patients are unremarkable except for mild developmental delay of the patient who underwent near-total pancreatectomy, No side effects were:encountered at the doses used. In conclusion, calcium channel blocking agents can be used with efficacy and safety in PHHI to control the hyperinsulinemia.