Three newborn infants are reported who developed severe non-ketotic hypoglycaemia (blood glucose less than 1.1 mmol/l; 19.8 mg/100 ml) within 6 hours of birth. All had inappropriately raised plasma insulin concentrations for the level of glycaemia, and required high rates of glucose infusion (less than 15 mg glucose/kg per minute) to prevent symptoms of hypoglycaemia. Medical treatment (hydrocortisone, diazoxide, chlorothiazide, phenytoin, propranolol, and depot glucagon) was ineffective in preventing hypoglycaemia and all 3 infants were subjected to partial and then total pancreatectomy. The pathological features of nesidioblastosis are reported from quantitative immunohistochemical studies on the pancreata. These results together with those from metabolic and endocrine studies performed on the 3 infants during the investigation of the cause of the hypoglycaemia and during the preoperative and postoperative period are presented in detail in order to define a practical approach to the management of this difficult clinical problem in the neonate.
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