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Management and outcome of neonatal hypoglycemia

Paul J Rozance, MD
Section Editors
Joseph A Garcia-Prats, MD
Joseph I Wolfsdorf, MB, BCh
Deputy Editor
Melanie S Kim, MD


During the normal transition to extrauterine life, blood glucose concentration in the healthy term newborn falls during the first two hours after delivery, reaching a nadir that usually is no lower than 40 mg/dL. It is important to differentiate this normal physiologic transitional response from disorders that result in persistent or recurrent hypoglycemia, which if left untreated may lead to significant neurologic and developmental sequelae.

This topic will discuss the outcome and management of neonatal hypoglycemia, including evaluation of persistent hypoglycemia. The physiology of normal transient neonatal low blood glucose levels, causes of persistent or pathologic neonatal hypoglycemia, and the clinical manifestations and diagnosis of neonatal hypoglycemia are discussed separately. (See "Pathogenesis, screening, and diagnosis of neonatal hypoglycemia".)


The goals of managing neonatal hypoglycemia are:

To correct blood glucose levels in symptomatic patients (see "Pathogenesis, screening, and diagnosis of neonatal hypoglycemia", section on 'Clinical manifestations')

To prevent symptomatic hypoglycemia in at-risk patients

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 21, 2017.
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