Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology
Subcutaneous glucagon infusion and continuous glucose monitoring enable effective management of hypoglycemia in a patient with IGF-2-producing hemangiopericytoma
Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology20184:2
© The Author(s). 2018
Published: 9 January 2018
Ectopic insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-2 production is a rare complication of an array of epithelial and mesenchymal tumors, and can clinically manifest as life-threatening hypoglycemia.
A 49-year-old woman with 13-year history of metastatic hemangiopericytoma, previously treated with multiple rounds of chemotherapy and palliative radiation, presented to the emergency department after a hypoglycemic seizure. On arrival, glucose was 18 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) and required continuous dextrose infusion for maintenance within normal limits. Insulin was <2.0 μU/mL, C-peptide 0.1 ng/mL, and beta-hydroxybutyrate <0.2 mmol/L. Random cortisol was 21 μg/dL; sulfonylurea screen, and insulin antibodies were negative. IGF-2 level was 1320 ng/mL; IGF-1 was within normal limits and IGF binding protein (BP)-3 suppressed. Dexamethasone, started at 6 mg twice daily, allowed discontinuation of the glucose infusion. Given concern for nocturnal hypoglycemia, and patient interest in steroid-sparing anti-hypoglycemic regimen, she was also started on overnight continuous subcutaneous glucagon infusion via insulin pump. She was discharged with instructions to maintain a diet high in complex carbohydrates during the day, while utilizing glucagon pump at night. She was also started on continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) with an alarm to warn of hypoglycemia. Glucagon infusion rate was later titrated based on CGMS readings. Abdominal CT revealed increasing size of a right upper quadrant mass not previously subjected to radiotherapy. After radiation to this area, hypoglycemia improved, allowing further glucagon titration. In parallel, IGF-2 level declined to 380 ng/mL.
Ectopic IGF-2 production is a rare but often fatal complication of many cancers, and should be considered on the differential diagnosis in patients with malignancy and unexplained hypoglycemia. Once hypoglycemia is diagnosed, patients often have end-stage disease. While treatment of the causative tumor is the only definitive intervention, anti-hypoglycemia therapy is a life-saving, temporizing measure. In this case, the patient attained euglycemia and survived 3 months after presentation before ultimately succumbing to other malignancy-related complications. Given efficacy in management of hypoglycemia while awaiting definitive tumor-directed therapy, we submit nighttime subcutaneous glucagon infusion and CGMS are valuable additions to the physician’s armamentarium in managing this condition.
Insulin like growth factor (IGF)-2HemangiopericytomaGlucagonContinuous glucose monitoring