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Neonatal hypoglycemia (NH) is one of the most common abnormalities encountered in the newborn. Maintaining glucose homeostasis is one of the important physiological events during fetal-to-neonatal transition. Transient low blood glucose concentrations are frequently encountered in the majority of healthy newborns and are the reflections of normal metabolic adaptation processes. Nevertheless, there is a great concern that prolonged or recurrent low blood glucose levels may result in long-term neurological and developmental consequences.
Strikingly, it was demonstrated that the incidence and timing of low glucose concentrations in the groups most at risk for asymptomatic neonatal hypoglycemia, did not find association between repetitive low glucose concentrations and poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. On the contrary, NH due to hyperinsulinism is strongly associated with brain injury.
Fundamental issue of great professional controversy is concerning the best manner to manage asymptomatic newborns NH. Both, overtreating NH and undertreating NH are poles with significant potential disadvantages.
Therefore, NH is one of the most important issues in the day-to-day practice. This article appraises the critical questions of definition (widely accepted blood glucose concentration: < 2.6 mmol/l or 47 mg/dl), follow-up ad management of NH.