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February 18, 1974

Pancreatic Alpha-Cell Function in Trauma

Author Affiliations

From the departments of internal medicine and biochemistry, University of Texas South-western Medical School at Dallas, and Veterans Administration Hospital, Dallas. Dr. Santeusanio is presently at the Istituto de Clinica Medica Policlinico, Perugia, Italy, and Dr. Braaten is now with the University of Miami School of Medicine, Fla.

JAMA. 1974;227(7):757-761. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230200015003

In a group of 20 consecutive patients hospitalized with severe traumatic shock, mean plasma glucagon levels averaged 328±65μμg/ml, significantly above the normal fasting levels. Insulin concentration was normal, and plasma glucose levels averaged 188 (±14) mg/100 ml, significantly above normal. Insulin-glucagon molar ratio was low in 17 of the 20 patients. In three patients undergoing major surgery without associated hypotension, glucagon concentrations did not rise comparably. Hyperglucagonemia without a proportional rise in insulin may be the usual islet cell response to severe trauma and possibly could contribute to survival.