Kwashiorkor and marasmus are both associated with impaired glucose clearance related to pancreatic β-cell dysfunction

Martijn N. Spoelstra, Andrea Mari, Marijke Mendel, Edward Senga, Patrick van Rheenen, Theo H. van Dijk, Dirk-Jan Reijngoud, Remco G. T. Zegers, Geert Tom Heikens, Robert H. J. Bandsma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Severe malnutrition is a major health problem in developing countries and can present as kwashiorkor or marasmus. Kwashiorkor is associated with septicaemia, profound metabolic changes including hepatic steatosis, altered protein metabolism and increased oxidative stress. Limited data suggest that children with kwashiorkor have an impaired glucose tolerance and insulin secretion. Our objective was to determine glucose tolerance in children with kwashiorkor compared to marasmus and its relation to insulin secretion and sensitivity. Six children with kwashiorkor and 8 children with marasmus were studied. We were also able to include 3 healthy children for comparison. They received a primed (13 mg/kg), constant infusion (0.15 mg/kg/min) of [6,6-(2)H(2)]glucose for 4 h with serial blood sampling. In addition, an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed with labeled 10 mg/g [U-(13)C]glucose. Glucose clearance was determined using mathematical modeling. Glucose clearance rates during the OGTT were -392 (range 309) mL/kg in children with kwashiorkor, -156 (426) mL/kg in marasmus and 279 (345) mL/kg in the control group. Glucose clearance rates correlated with plasma albumin concentrations (r=0.67, P=.001). Insulin responses were strongly impaired in both kwashiorkor and marasmus. There was no indication of peripheral or hepatic insulin resistance in the malnourished groups. We show that glucose clearance rates are affected in both children with marasmus as well as kwashiorkor, which correlate with plasma albumin concentrations. The disturbed glucose clearance in malnutrition is related to an impairment in insulin availability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1230
Number of pages7
JournalMetabolism
Volume61
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2012

Keywords

  • FREE FATTY-ACID
  • PROTEIN-CALORIE MALNUTRITION
  • INSULIN-SECRETION
  • CARBOHYDRATE-METABOLISM
  • MALNOURISHED CHILDREN
  • ENERGY MALNUTRITION
  • TOLERANCE
  • TESTS
  • HYPERGLYCEMIA
  • BLOOD

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