Refractory hypoglycemia in a pediatric patient with desmoplastic small round cell tumor

Abdullah Almaghraby*, Wendy J. Brickman, Jeffery A. Goldstein, Reema L. Habiby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Tumor-induced hypoglycemia is a rare and serious complication that is usually a consequence of either excessive insulin secretion (insulinoma) or because of non-islet cell tumor hypoglycemia (NICTH). NICTH is a rare phenomenon seen most often in adult patients. It is associated with different tumor types. Here, we report the first case to the best of our knowledge in the literature of a pediatric patient with NICTH associated with desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRT). This is a 15-year-old girl who presented with symptomatic hypoglycemia and abdominal mass. She required an intravenous glucose infusion rate as high as 9 mg/kg/min in addition to glucose containing oral supplements in order to maintain her blood glucose above 60 mg/dL. Computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis showed multiple hepatic lesions with an intraperitoneal soft tissue mass which subsequently was diagnosed as DSRT. When the blood glucose was 45 mg/dL, the insulin, growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels were suppressed with an appropriate elevation of cortisol. Subsequently, an insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) level was sent and the IGF-2:IGF-1 ratio was found to be elevated >10 consistent with NICTH. After the first dose of chemotherapy, hypoglycemia improved, and she was weaned off glucose containing fluids. NICTH should be considered in all cancer patients regardless of their age with refractory hypoglycemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-950
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 28 2018


  • hypoglycemia
  • oncology
  • pediatric endocrinology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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