Background and aims: Severe neonatal hypoglycemia (HG) leads to neurologic damage, mental retardation, epilepsy, personality disorders, impaired cardiac performance and muscle weakness. We aimed to assess the clinical characteristics of children with hypoglycemia in a random population of newborns.

Patients, methods and results: We investigated 84 patients (M:F=35:48) born at the University Clinic for Gynecology and Obstetrics in Skopje (hospitalized in the NICU) who were found to have hypoglycemia. In total 89.25% of the babies were premature. The mean birth weight was 1795.95 +/596.08 grams, the mean birth length was 41.92+/- 4.62 cm, while the mean gestational age was 33.05±3.19 weeks. 32 children (38.08%) were very low birth weight (<1500g), 38 (45.22%) were low birth weight (1500-2500g), while there were 8 children (9.52%) appropriate for age BW and no high BW for age patients (>4000 g).

HG duration was 2.42+/-2.41 hours. In the group as a whole, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) was found in 3 children (3.57%), infections in 22 (26.18%), respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in 9 patients (10.62%), intracranial haemorrhage in 2 patients (2.38%). There were no inborn errors of metabolism. There were two deaths (2.38%).

Conclusion: Neonatal HG is a significant factor in the overall neonatal mortality. HG can also cause severe invalidity. We found that infections, LBW and low gestational age were most commonly associated with neonatal HG. However the Spearman test showed weak direct correlation, without statistical significance. Neonatal HG requires complex and team interaction of prenatal and postnatal approaches to reduce the incidence of seizures, their consequences and the overall mortality. Special consideration is to be taken in measures that avoid neonatal infections, HIE, LBW and low gestational age. Further studies on a larger population are needed to fully understand and prevent the phenomenon of HG in newborns.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Basic Medical Science, History and Ethics of Medicine, Clinical Medicine, other, Social Sciences, Education