The effect of hypoglycemia on fetal brain function and metabolism

Leon I. Mann, Sybil Duchin, John Halverstram, John Mastrantonio, Robert Weiss, Joseph Schulman

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20 Scopus citations


The effect of hypoglycemia on brain function in terms of the electroencephalogram (EEG) and on brain metabolism in terms of arteriovenous differences in substrate concentrations was studied in 11 in utero fetal sheep experiments. Fetal hypoglycemia was induced by an infusion of insulin to the ewe that resulted in maternal hypoglycemia. Carotid artery glucose concentration decreased to values that were 25 per cent of base line and as low as 3 mg. per 100 ml. The peak effect occurred 30 to 50 minutes following insulin infusion. The fetal EEG showed only minimal changes that consisted of a decrease in voltage and slowing on occasion. A significant decrease in heart rate occurred during the hypoglycemia. There was no significant change in oxygen consumption, blood flow, pH, or PCO2. A significant reduction (p < 0.005) occurred in the arteriovenous difference of both glucose and glucose consumption. The ratio of glucose to oxygen utilization was also significantly reduced (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the metabolism of lactate, pyruvate, and free fatty acids which suggests other undefined substrate utilization during hypoglycemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 1973
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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