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March 15, 1965

High Growth-Hormone Levels in Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Possible Cause of Insulin Resistance

Author Affiliations

From the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and Veterans Administration Hospital, Dallas.

JAMA. 1965;191(11):945-947. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080110069026

THE demonstration by Roth, Glick, Berson, and Yalow1 that 2-deoxyglucose administration is associated with a rise in plasma-growth hormone concentration suggested that intracellular deficiency of glucose is a stimulus to growth hormone release. Since insulin lack would, presumably, create a similar deficit of intracellular glucose, it seemed possible that severe diabetic ketoacidosis might be characterized by excessive secretion of growth hormone. An excess of endogenous growth hormone secondary to insulin lack might well account for the high insulin requirements so typical of the initial hours of severe diabetic ketoacidosis. The subsequent rapid decrease in insulin requirements which accompanies adequate insulin therapy could be explained by a decrease in growth-hormone secretion as insulin permits glucose entry into cells.

The foregoing consideration prompted the following investigation of growth-hormone concentration (HGH) in diabetic patients before and after treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis.

Methods  The six patients included in this study, were admitted consecutively