New Protocol Cuts Fasting Time to Rule Out Insulinoma
Use of a new protocol — sequential beta-hydroxybutyrate testing with a cut-off for ruling out insulinoma in patients with hypoglycemia — may allow for a shortening of the gold-standard 72-hour fasting time normally required for this diagnosis, therefore yielding significant hospital cost savings, new data suggest.
Insulinomas are small, rare types of pancreatic tumors that are benign but secrete excess insulin, leading to hypoglycemia. More than 99% of people with insulinoma develop hypoglycemia within 72 hours, hence, the use of a 72-hour fast to detect these tumors.
But most people who are evaluated for hypoglycemia do not have an insulinoma and fasting in hospital for 3 days is burdensome and costly.