The prevalence and pathogenesis of hyperglycaemia were investigated in a consecutive series of 27 black infants admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis over a period of three months. Hyperglycaemia (plasma glucose concentration greater than 10 mmol/l) occurred in 15 (55%) of these patients. The pathogenesis was not clear but possible contributory factors included raised concentrations of the stress hormones pancreatic glucagon, growth hormone, and cortisol; hypokalaemia; and peripheral insulin resistance. Intravenous rehydration, without insulin, corrected the plasma glucose concentrations and restored the hormonal profile towards normal within 36 to 48 hours.
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