Risk Factors of Hypoglycemic Encephalopathy and Prolonged Hypoglycemia in Patients With Severe Hypoglycemia

Rika Saikawa, Hodaka Yamada, Daisuke Suzuki, Misato Amamoto, Yuko Matsumoto, Shunsuke Funazaki, Masashi Yoshida, Hideo Toyoshima, Kazuo Hara


Background: The aim of the study was to investigate risk factors of hypoglycemic encephalopathy (HE) in patients with severe hypoglycemia.

Methods: We retrospectively enrolled patients with severe hypoglycemia who were transported to the emergency department in an ambulance. We defined severe hypoglycemia as plasma glucose level < 60 mg/dL (or capillary levels < 50 mg/dL). HE was defined as severe hypoglycemia with altered level of consciousness (Glasgow coma scale < 12) and prolonged HE as coma or stupor lasting > 24 h after glucose administration. We compared several parameters between patients with and without HE and between prolonged and recovered patients.

Results: Included were 173 patients with severe hypoglycemia; of them, 94 were diagnosed with HE, with 12 of them prolonged HE. Glucose level in HE patients was lower than that in those without HE (P < 0.001). Moreover, we noted a significant difference in glucose levels between the prolonged and recovered groups. Furthermore, body temperature was higher in prolonged versus recovered patients (P = 0.0017).

Conclusion: Blood glucose level may be correlated with severity of altered level of consciousness. In addition, body temperature may be related to coma or prolonged stupor.

J Clin Med Res. 2019;11(3):213-218
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr3728


Hypoglycemic encephalopathy; Severe hypoglycemia; Body temperature

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