Changes in regional brain (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake at hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetic men associated with hypoglycemia unawareness and counter-regulatory failure

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Abstract

We examined the effects of acute moderate hypoglycemia and the condition of hypoglycemia unawareness on regional brain uptake of the labeled glucose analog [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) using positron emission tomography (PET). FDG-PET was performed in diabetic patients with (n = 6) and without (n = 7) hypoglycemia awareness. Each patient was studied at plasma glucose levels of 5 and 2.6 mmol/l, applied by glucose clamp techniques, in random order. Hypoglycemia-unaware patients were asymptomatic during hypoglycemia, with marked attenuation of their epinephrine responses (mean [+/- SD] peak of 0.77 +/- 0.39 vs. 7.52 +/- 2.9 nmol/l; P <0.0003) and a reduced global brain FDG uptake ([mean +/- SE] 2.592 +/- 0.188 vs. 2.018 +/- 0.174 at euglycemia; P = 0.027). Using statistical parametric mapping (SPM) to analyze images of FDG uptake, we identified a subthalamic brain region that exhibited significantly different behavior between the aware and unaware groups. In the aware group, there was little change in the normalized FDG uptake in this region in response to hypoglycemia ([mean +/- SE] 0.654 +/- 0.016 to 0.636 +/- 0.013; NS); however, in the unaware group, the uptake in this region fell from 0.715 +/- 0.015 to 0.623 +/- 0.012 (P = 0.001). Our data were consistent with the human hypoglycemia sensor being anatomically located in this brain region, and demonstrated for the first time a change in its metabolic function associated with the failure to trigger a counter-regulatory response
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2329-2336
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes
Volume50
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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