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  • Author: Andri Sanityoso Sulaiman x
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Kemal Fariz Kalista Division of Hepatobiliary, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Hanum Citra Nur Rahma Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Dicky Levenus Tahapary Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Saut Horas Nababan Division of Hepatobiliary, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Chynthia Olivia Maurine Jasirwan Division of Hepatobiliary, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Juferdy Kurniawan Division of Hepatobiliary, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Cosmas Rinaldi Adithya Lesmana Division of Hepatobiliary, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Andri Sanityoso Sulaiman Division of Hepatobiliary, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Irsan Hasan Division of Hepatobiliary, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Rino Gani Division of Hepatobiliary, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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Summary

Hypoglycemia is one of the paraneoplastic syndrome manifestations that arise from primary and secondary liver cancer. Hypoglycemia usually presents in the late stage of the disease and indicates a poor prognosis. This case series displays the characteristics profile of patients with primary and secondary liver cancer who are presented with hypoglycemia in a tertiary referral hospital in Indonesia. The study included 41 liver cancer patients who were presented with hypoglycemia. Hepatocellular carcinoma was diagnosed in 51.2% of patients, metastatic liver disease in 14.6% of patients, and undiagnosed liver cancer in 34.1% of patients. The mean age was 47.7 years with male predominance (65.9%). Jaundice was found in 58.5% and hepatomegaly in 70.7% of patients. The mean (± S.D.) initial blood glucose was 42.15 ± 17.11 mg/dL and the Child–Pugh score was 9.93 ± 2.11. Based on imaging, tumor diameter was 12.6 ± 6.9 cm, multiple (61%), and involving both lobes (61%). Treatments for hypoglycemia included oral/enteral feeding, intravenous dextrose, and steroids. No treatment was given for the cancer because all patients were in an advanced stage. The treatment resulted in 41.5% blood glucose being controlled, 56.1% refractory, and 2.4% persistent. Mortality was 70.7% and in average occurred 5.76 ± 4.99 days after hypoglycemia. The mainstay of treatment in these cases is treating the tumor with cytoreduction. However, it was difficult to do cytoreduction because the tumor was already in an advanced stage. Beneficial supportive treatments for maintaining normal blood glucose are frequent meals, dextrose infusion, steroids, and glucagon.

Learning points

  • Hypoglycemia in liver cancer occurs due to the failure of the liver to fulfill body glucose demand because the liver parenchyma has been largely replaced by the tumor, in addition to the high production of insulin growth factor (IGF).

  • Hypoglycemia is often caused by islet cell and non-islet cell tumors, with a higher occurrence in non-islet cell tumors due to paraneoplastic syndrome and the high metabolic requirements of the tumor.

  • The mainstay of NICTH treatment is treating the tumor with cytoreduction. However, in an advanced stage, cytoreduction therapy is often challenging to conduct. Beneficial supportive treatments for controlling blood glucose are frequent meals, dextrose infusion, and the injection of steroids and glucagon.

  • Steroids play a beneficial role in the treatment of persistent hypoglycemia in hepatocellular carcinoma by stimulating gluconeogenesis and increasing lipolysis. Steroids also have roles in the inhibition of peripheral glucose intake, suppression of big IGF-2 production, and modulation of the GH–IGF axis.

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