A Study of 41 Cases with Matched Controls
41 infants who had experienced neonatal hypoglycaemia (blood glucose less than 20 mg/100 ml) were reviewed at a mean age of 51 months and compared to a group of matched controls. Symptomatic and asymptomatic infants were represented in the hypoglycaemic group in a similar ratio to that found during a previous study of the incidence of hypoglycaemia in a special care unit.
Evidence of cerebral damage was found in 6 of the children who had been hypoglycaemic (14·6%) and in 5 of the controls (12·2%). This difference is not significant. The mean IQ and locomotor scores of the two groups were identical, and there was no difference in the incidence of behaviour disorders or convulsions.
It is concluded that, while it is important to identify and treat cases of `true' symptomatic hypoglycaemia, the large majority of infants tolerate low blood glucose levels without sequelae. The prognosis for infants with asymptomatic hypoglycaemia is particularly good, none of the 12 infants in this series showing any evidence of cerebral damage.
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