Rate of Serious Adverse Events Associated with Diazoxide Treatment of Patients with Hyperinsulinism

Hormone Research in Paediatrics
21 May, 2019 ,

Thornton P et.al. conducted a study to compare the rates of serious adverse events in the different types of hyperinsulinism. The researchers concluded that rate of serious adverse events was significantly higher  newborns with perinatal stress hyperinsulinism as compared to babies with  genetic forms of hyperinsulinism. 

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Introduction: Diazoxide is the first line and only Federal Drug Agency approved pharmacological agent for the treatment of hyperinsulinism. Its use has increased over the years to include patients with various genetic forms of hyperinsulinism, perinatal stress hyperinsulinism and infants of diabetic mothers with more babies than ever being exposed to this therapy.

 Methods:We performed a retrospective analysis of 194 patients with hyperinsulinism in our clinic and looked for those who had experienced serious adverse events (SAE) including pulmonary hypertension and neutropenia. We compared the rates of SAE in the different types of hyperinsulinism. 

Results: Out of 194 patients with hyperinsulinism, 165 (85.1%) were treated with diazoxide. There were 17 SAEs in 16 patients including 8 cases of pulmonary hypertension and 8 of neutropenia. These data show that overall the frequency of SAE associated with diazoxide use is 9.7%, but that those with perinatal stress hyperinsulinism have a much higher rate than those with genetic forms of hyperinsulinism (16.7 vs. 3.6%; p = 0.01). We also found diazoxide is associated with pulmonary hypertension (4.8% of patients treated). Although more patients with perinatal stress hyperinsulinism (7.6%) were affected than genetic hyperinsulinism (1.2%), the difference was not significant (p = 0.088). 

Conclusion: The rate of SAEs associated with (not necessarily caused by) diazoxide has been demonstrated. The rate of SAE in newborns with perinatal stress hyperinsulinism is significantly higher than that of otherwise healthy babies with genetic forms of hyperinsulinism, suggesting that caution should be used when prescribing diazoxide to this population. This information should help balance the risk benefit of treatment and provide guidance on screening for these complications in the population of treated patients.