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February 23, 1946


Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Presbyterian Hospital in the city

JAMA. 1946;130(8):477-480. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870080011003

The clinical state associated with hypoglycemia is assuming an increasing importance in the differential diagnosis of atypical nervous system reactions. Since the first description of this condition by Harris1 in 1924 there has developed a large body of literature pertaining in particular to etiologic mechanisms. Many organs of the body, including the liver, pancreas, adrenal, thyroid and pituitary, have seemed to play a role in various instances, but there have been certain other cases for which no acceptable explanation was apparent.

In the numerous reports of these cases of unexplained spontaneous hypoglycemia, little has been written concerning a decrease in blood sugar in previously asymptomatic individuals following a surgical procedure. Coma following an operation, while relatively rare, is a disturbing complication and the cases reported here illustrate another etiologic possibility which must be considered in the presence of this perplexing problem. In the past two years we have had

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