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August 1969

Serum Glucose, Insulin, and Growth Hormone in Chronic Hepatic Cirrhosis

Arch Intern Med. 1969;124(2):149-152. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300180021004

Plasma glucose, radioimmunoassayable insulin, and growth hormone (HGH) concentrations were measured during oral glucose tolerance tests, (GTT) in 22 patients with chronic hepatic cirrhosis and in 15 normal subjects. Of the cirrhotics, 50% had normal results and 50% showed impaired glucose tolerance. Cirrhotic patients with normal results showed hyperinsulinism. Abnormal results for GTT were associated with hypoinsulinism compared with normal subjects. Fasting levels of HGH were higher than in normal subjects. During GTT, HGH levels in 18 cirrhotics were either not suppressed or showed paradoxical rise but normal subjects had complete suppression. Patients with hepatic cirrhosis and abnormal GTT results had higher HGH levels at 60, 90, and 120 minutes compared with patients with normal GTT results. High HGH levels may be responsible for the high incidence of abnormal glucose tolerance in hepatic cirrhosis and hyperinsulinism preceding hypoinsulinism.

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